By: William C. Head, Atlanta DUI Lawyer
Georgia has had very tough DUI laws for over half a century. In recent years, after highly publicized boating under the influence deaths at Lake Lanier, the Georgia legislature passed more comprehensive laws for BUI cases. One of the recent changes was to make the permissible BAC level, for BUI per se, to be 0.08 for adult (age 21 and over) boaters. Other than the specific statutes addressing DUI laws and BUI laws, Georgia has a variety of related laws pertaining to these legal topics:
A couple of the statutes concerning drunk driving and drunk boating are:
OCGA 40-5-55: Georgia’s Implied Consent Law, pertaining to driving under the influence. This covers alcohol, drugs, and any other impairing substance or plant material. The Georgia implied consent law addresses that any person who operates a motor vehicle ANYWHERE within Georgia and is lawfully arrested for the offense of driving while intoxicated shall be deemed to have given consent to chemical testing.
These chemical tests are given so that police can determine if someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugged driving, through laboratory analysis or breath testing. Yes, you can be arrested for DUI on private property in Georgia, since GA DUI laws do not limit arrests strictly on public roadways or appurtenant roads (such as shopping center parking lots and access roads, like in North Carolina).
O.C.G.A 40-5-67.1: The statutory wording of the Georgia Implied Consent Notice. This statute was added in 1998, and made the law relating to the mandatory oral advisement part of the statutes on GA implied consent. The verbal implied consent warning must be read to a detained driver at the point of him or her being arrested for DUI, which is codified at OCGA 40-6-391.
Georgia appellate law relating to implied consent dictates that the officer READ IT, and do so as soon after the arrest as practicable. Unlike other states, nothing is placed in writing, so that an accused driver can make a written election of what to do. Plus, Georgia is a state that does not permit a DUI suspect to contact legal counsel BEFORE deciding whether to submit or not. This is the statutory wording, for drivers age 21 and over, in Georgia:
“Georgia law requires you to submit to state-administered chemical
tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for
the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol
or drugs. If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license
or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended
for a minimum period of one year. Your refusal to submit to the
required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial.
If you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol
concentration of 0.08 grams or more, your Georgia driver’s license or
privilege to drive on the highways of this state may be suspended for
a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required
state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your
blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense
and from qualified personnel of your own choosing.
Will you submit to the state-administered chemical tests of your BREATH under the
implied consent law?”
Georgia’s statute on DUI law outlines the various WAYS a person can be found guilty of drunken driving under OCGA 40-6-391.
OCGA 40-6-391 (l) is the Georgia code section calling for an additional child endangerment DUI to be added to drunk driving charges, for each child under age 14 that was in the vehicle when the DUI arrest occurred. If the driver is convicted, the law states that any endangerment counts cannot be “merged” (not placed on the criminal history as separate charges). So, with several “underage” children as passengers, as defined by this DUI statute, you can face enough DUI charges to take away your right to drive for years–after you get out of jail.
OCGA 40-6-392: Chemical Testing Statute. This law defines the requirements for chemical tests performed in conjunction with the Implied Consent and DUI statute. Additionally, under this code section, the legislature has established guidelines and methods by which these chemical tests requested as part of a DUI arrest must be performed on a periodic basis.
This statute requires that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation take steps to approve satisfactory techniques and methods to ascertain the qualifications of analysts who will be entrusted to examine or test biological samples, teach and to administer forensic breath testing through the Division of Forensic Science (DOFS) and to oversee forensic blood testing.
Plus, the GBI is permitted to establish training guidelines for the competence of individuals who will be tasked with conducting various analyses. Generally, a bachelor’s degree in science, such as biology, is the prerequisite, and then the person gets on-the-job training in toxicology and other issues relating to blood chemistry, and use of certified pre-mix solutions and other minimum level scientific testing aptitude issues.
Last, but not least, this same code section authorizes the GBI to issue permits to document that the person who has satisfactorily completed such educational classes can conduct various types of laboratory tests. The GBI DOFS division establishes and enforces oversight of minimal proficiency requirements for properly operating and maintaining testing instruments, and issues quarterly certificates that Intoxilyzer 9000 breath test instruments have met the approval requirements of DOFS.
O.C.G.A 40-1-1: At the beginning of Title 40, Georgia law provides definitions of various testing and other standards for various phrases and terms, under Georgia DUI laws. This definitional statute sets forth how a person’s alcohol concentration is quantified for blood alcohol calculator purposes, and for breath BAC concentration, pursuant to chemical testing (i.e., blood, breath, urine or other bodily substances like saliva, sweat, hair, etc.)
OCGA 52-7-12: Georgia’s Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Statute. This statute defines both boating under the influence, and the requirements for chemical testing of individuals suspected of BUI.
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The best Atlanta DUI lawyer is William C. “Bubba” Head. Mr. Head is well-known around the country as the lawyer whom celebrities hire to represent them. Mr. Head has won thousands of tough alcohol and drug cases for over 40 years.
Call 41-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your DUI case and get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515