By: William C. “Bubba” Head, Criminal Defense Attorney and ABA Board-Certified DUI Attorney
Driving Under the Influence rules and regulations are constantly changing- you must have a lawyer that thoroughly knows Georgia DUI laws to provide the best representation.
The starting point for successfully identifying DUI defenses is to know Georgia DUI laws, backward and forward. This means that your DUI lawyer must be intimately familiar with all aspects of DUI laws in Georgia, including statutes, regulations, court rules, appellate decisions in Georgia, reported opinions of the United States Supreme Court, and even be aware of key DWI-DUI-OWI cases from other jurisdictions.
This is due to the fact that drunk driving and drugged driving laws across America, as well as police practices, are similar in field sobriety testing and breath testing.
DUI laws in the State of Georgia are amended regularly. In the past 25 years, Georgia drunken driving laws have been modified, revised, rewritten, and expanded not fewer than 20 times. These changes have related to issues like implied consent, administrative license suspension laws, GA Department of Driver Services regulations about limited driving permits, electronic reporting of traffic tickets to Georgia DDS, and rules relating to jury selection and trials.
Knowing how to beat a breathalyzer is essential for a criminal defense attorney because most drinking and driving arrests will have a breathalyzer test result. To fight a DUI, you must hire a legal expert on DUI defense who can neutralize the “junk science” of both field sobriety tests, and know how to beat breath tests at trial. In a DUI alcohol per se case, the central issue for the jury is, “Has the breathalyzer result been proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt?” Few criminal lawyers know how to win such breath test cases.
Does a DUI attorney know how to remove a DUI from your record? The answer is, a Georgia drunk driving conviction stays on your permanent record forever, and future employers will learn about it. So your best bet is to avoid a DUI conviction altogether. Bubba Head knows how to do this, and he has kept many clients from being convicted for driving while intoxicated.
Similarly, an even SMALLER number of DUI attorneys know how to fight a forcible blood draw case. If you refuse a breath test, a police officer in Georgia has the legal right to seek a judge’s search warrant to draw blood from you. This requires the law enforcement officer to go see or call up the magistrate judge, to provide a sworn statement and/or a written affidavit of facts sufficient to support the judge issuing a blood draw search warrant, which authorizes force to be used.
DUI law on the topic of forcible blood collection results from a suspected drunk driver charged in 2013 with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri vs McNeely, decided April 17th. This landmark case set down the principle that the mere dissipation of alcohol over time (i.e., that your body burns off ethanol gradually as time passes since your last drink) does not supply a police officer (in every case) with justification to obtain blood without a warrant. Until this decision was handed down, many states were allowing such blood testing.
If facing a DUI in Georgia, hiring a DUI attorney skilled in contested DUI cases versus merely pleading you guilty, is the critical starting point. Top DUI lawyers in Georgia can look at your arrest paperwork, interview you about certain aspects of your pullover (or DUI checkpoint), your interrogation by police, your field sobriety test evidence, your self-incrimination, your compliance or refusal to submit to the implied consent testing, and similar legal issues, and give you an IDEA of your chances of “winning” your DUI case in Georgia.