How to Beat a DUI – 11 Ways to Do It
Atlanta DUI Attorney Explains How to Beat a DUI
By: Atlanta DUI Lawyer William C. Head, Copyright 2017
Top 11 Ways List: How to Beat a DUI
Because no meaningful training on “legal rights” is given to Georgia citizens in high school or college, 99% of all people pulled over for a suspected DUI in Georgia do not know what to do — or what not to do — when a police officer starts questioning a suspected DUI Georgia driver.
Beating a DUI takes a skilled criminal defense lawyer, and one that is one of the best DUI lawyers in Georgia. In this short article, Board Certified DUI lawyer William C. Head of Atlanta GA outlines how to beat a DUI if being investigated or arrested for driving while intoxicated in metro Atlanta, Georgia (or any other place in the State of Georgia). Compare DUI attorney credentials and lawyer ratings before hiring, if you goal is to win the DUI, or get your DUI dismissed.
This article walks through, in detail, the DUI GA rules for responding to a police pullover for a traffic ticket, or being stopped at a DUI checkpoint. The central theme is NOT self-incriminating. Being prepared, and especially knowing what to do when pressured to perform field sobriety tests or answer police questions can make the difference between winning and losing.
- First and Foremost, BE QUIET. Remain silent. The only thing required from you to disclose to an officer is your correct name and current address. Anything and EVERYHING else you provide to the investigating officer looking for a DUI arrest will almost 100% be guaranteed to be used as evidence against you. Example: The officer asks it you take any prescription drugs. DO NOT ANSWER. Remain silent. If you admit to using prescribed drugs or even over-the-counter products like Benadryl, this may be enough to authorize the officer to request a BLOOD test. The most harmful information in most DUI cases is what comes out of a client’s mouth. If you want to beat a DUI, you need to remain SILENT. Since Georgia police officers are trained to know that a detained person has no right to an attorney, you will not be able to consult with legal counsel for a DUI Georgia.
- Don’t Take Field Sobriety Tests. Do nothing in terms of “sobriety screening” at the roadway. In Georgia, every roadside exercise or so-called “field sobriety test” is both voluntary and unscientific. No decent DUI lawyer will EVER tell a client to attempt to perform field tests, because these bogus evaluations have been the source of more innocent people being convicted of drunk driving than anything else. This unfortunate and inaccurate description is misleading, since the NHTSA standardized field sobriety tests are not a “reliable” test of sobriety at all. Despite the lack of a REAL scientific basis for detecting impaired driving ability in Georgia, these field sobriety evaluations are allowed to be used against you in court by officers with no medical training and no degree in psycho-physical testing and measurement. Why attempt to perform such DUI tests when they can and almost always will be harmful to your chances of winning your DUI case? Field sobriety tests have been described as a “fraud” on the American public by Texas researcher Dr. James Booker, Ph.D., Colorado physician Dr. Greg Kane, and Georgia clinical psychologist Dr. Spurgeon Cole, Ph.D.
- Don’t Blow into the Portable Breathalyzer. The next way to beat a DUI is to never take a roadside breathalyzer test on a portable breath test device. In Georgia, the numeric results of the hand-held preliminary breath test machine are NOT an “approved” forensic device. By this statement, “forensic” means “admissible in a court of law.” In a DUI trial in Georgia, the “number” on a preliminary breathalyzer is not admissible, but a police officer is allowed to testify that the RESULT was “positive” for alcohol. Too often, jurors hear this phrase and are quick to think the worst, not the best. To win your DUI case, avoid submitting to this nebulous and possibly harmful “inference,” by simply declining to blow into this portable breathalyzer, which is an OPTIONAL and VOLUNTARY alcohol-screening test. Simply say “NO,” but do it politely.
- Don’t Resist Arrest. If arrested for a Georgia DUI, do not physically resist the officer cuffing you, and do not verbally protest or beg to be given a “break.” Once arrested, and before any implied consent notice is read to you, politely assert your right to an attorney. Resistance can create another criminal charge of obstruction of an officer at either the misdemeanor level (no physical contact with an officer) or a felony obstruction (physical contact such as hitting, biting, kicking, head butting, or spitting on) a law enforcement officer. You are not going to get much sympathy from a jury or judge if your conduct is something these people would not think of doing in the same situation. Calm, polite, and responsive detainees are usually perceived to NOT be impaired, without more proof.
- There Is No Privacy in a Police Car. Don’t EVER assume that you have privacy inside a police car. Modern police cars, especially if designated to be used for DUI-DWI arrests, often have both AUDIO and VIDEO recording, focused on you. Do NOT engage in a cell phone conversation about your case, even if it is to your DUI lawyer, because the appellate courts have ruled that you have no expectation of privacy in the back seat of a police car. All recorded audio and video can be used against you, and it often means the difference between winning and losing. SHUT UP! Remain calm. Be polite.
- Take the Officer’s Implied Consent Breath Alcohol Test. Don’t confuse your POST-ARREST obligation to take the “implied consent” breath test (or blood test, but only if drugs are reasonably suspected, or if you refuse breath testing). This post-arrest test is NOT the pre-arrest, optional, voluntary portable breathalyzer test (a handheld device about the size of a smart phone) offered at the roadway. If you assert your right to talk to a criminal lawyer, the arresting officer may claim that this constitutes a refusal. But, so long as you affirmatively tell the officer you WILL take his or her requested type of test, you are allowed (under GA DUI law) to change your mind, and submit to the breath alcohol test. The Georgia implied consent law alcohol breath test is typically given at the jail or at a police substation after you have been handcuffed and arrested. If blood is being taken, it is usually not for BAC alcohol, but more commonly a blood drugs test. In Georgia, failure to say YES to implied consent can cause you to lose your entire right to drive for a full year by refusing to submit to implied consent testing. Plus, for rejecting implied consent, an officer would then be authorized to seek a search warrant for blood, and take a forcible blood test from you. What else, other than alcohol, is in your blood? Also, in Georgia, once you TAKE the officer’s requested type of implied consent test, you are entitled to obtain your OWN independent test or tests, from a person of your choosing, which is protected under the GA implied consent law. Always know the name of a nearby hospital that will be willing to take your blood test, even if the facility is located in an adjacent county.
- Try to Remember Names of People at the Jail. On your journey to jail, you may deal with a police transport officer, a book-in officer, a nurse to ask health questions, or even another prisoner who may make an excellent witness in your criminal case. If you don’t bond out of jail, and hire a criminal attorney quickly, some courts require that a public defender speak to you, and this person will ask if you need an appointed DUI attorney. Do your best to remember the names and a good identification of these potential witnesses. Write this information down at your first opportunity.
- Appeal the Administrative License Suspension. In Georgia, you only have ten (10) business days to appeal your driver’s license suspension. Once you get out of jail, call a DUI attorney ASAP to avoid a DUI license suspension. Do this under guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to WIN. Maintaining your ability to drive is Job #1 for top-rated lawyers who practice drunk driving defense. Act quickly to get your DUI attorney to assist you in filing this important letter to appeal your DDS 1205 administrative suspension. A check for the $150 filing fee, payable to “Georgia DDS,” needs to go to the State of Georgia to cover your filing fee. If you wish to file your OWN letter, you must send it by U.S. certified mail, with a receipt from the post office showing delivery and receipt by them within the 10 days. But, our DUI attorneys will help you do your letter for no legal fee cost — it is THAT important. Georgia law defines the term “business days” as weekdays that are not State holidays. Don’t screw this up.
- Don’t Talk in Jail. Anything you say in jail, including over the phone, may be recorded. So, don’t think that verbal admissions made to another prisoner or a guard won’t be used by a prosecutor as potential incriminating evidence against you. Only speak to your DUI attorney. Remain silent while in jail, and focus on posting bond and getting good descriptions and names of favorable potential witnesses.
- Don’t Risk Any New Arrests. So long as your criminal case for DUI is pending, any new arrest — especially for another DUI — could create MAJOR issues. To begin with, your first bond can be revoked and you could go back to jail. Then, your DUI attorney will have to try to get a new bond. This may take days or even weeks. He or she may have to agree to have you submit to other conditions on your bond, just for you to remain out of jail (e.g., wearing a transdermal ankle monitor 24 hours a day until your case is resolved). In some GA courts, like in Troup County State Court, for a second offense DUI (or any other repeat offender), the Judge will only allow you out of jail on bond, if you agree to wear (and PAY for) an ankle monitor that detects and records through transdermal sampling any alcohol in your body. Because any DUI lawyer that you may hire cannot alter this “discretionary” act by the judge, your new arrest may simply cause you MUCH more inconvenience and DUI attorney costs. These conditions can be financially painful or even crippling to your ability to work. Examples: Put an alcohol interlock device on your car (painful) or not be allowed to drive at all (crippling).
- Hire the Best DUI Lawyer Quickly. Criminal defense lawyer Bubba Head can tell you hundreds of good stories about how gathering evidence shortly after a DUI arrest can win cases. He can also tell you just as many BAD stories of how such key evidence was lost by not acting quickly. Be one of the “winners” by promptly hiring your choice of the best DUI lawyers. One of the central themes for Mr. Head’s clients who wanted to know “how to beat a DUI” was taking prompt action to hire a DUI attorney to gather this key evidence, and find the flaws in the police officer’s case. Two examples of flaws: (a) road construction that makes lane dividers difficult to see, and (b) premises video camera footage from a restaurant, a parking lot , or a service station that can provide us with information to support our client’s version of what happened.
Unfortunately, people only inquire about advice from a DUI lawyer AFTER they are arrested for DUI in Georgia. By then, they have had to deal with a police officer determined to make a DUI arrest, who used verbal judo techniques to obtain participation in optional, voluntary field sobriety tests by NOT telling the detained person that all pre-arrest roadside evaluations are 100% OPTIONAL.
Atlanta DUI lawyer Bubba Head reminds all Georgia drivers: Remember that all you say and every move you make is being captured on video, and ALL will be used later to try to convict you. Shut up! This article walks through, in detail, the DUI GA rules for responding to a police pullover for a traffic ticket, or being stopped at a DUI checkpoint. Being prepared, and especially knowing what to do when pressured to perform field sobriety tests or answer police questions can make the difference between winning and losing.
Should I Blow into a Portable Breathalyzer, If Asked by the Police Officer?
The police usually convince the person to submit to a portable breath alcohol test early in the investigation. Georgia allows police to offer a hand-held portable breathalyzer test, while other states, like Florida abandoned using it, due to many cases involving confusion by a suspected drunk driver, who thought the roadside test satisfied the obligation to take the implied consent test.
Again, this is prior to arrest, so it is OPTIONAL. Any knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Georgia will tell you to NOT SUBMIT to that preliminary breath test. This “positive” reading alone can be enough to support a DUI arrest under Georgia law. Plus, if you are thinking, “Well, if I have had nothing to drink, then why not take it?” The minute you “pass” that portable breathalyzer, the officer will focus on you as being affected by DRUGS, and will start a DUI-drugs investigation, and perhaps request a modified Romberg balance test, which is ALSO optional and is a far less reliable test than even the non-scientific field sobriety tests.
In GA, You Can’t Call Your Lawyer Before Deciding Whether to Take the GA Intoxilyzer Test
Despite what you think, you have no right to stop the police investigation and contact a DUI attorney, before or after questions are being asked (to get you to self-incriminate). If you decline to answer police questions, then roadside tests are going to be requested. In fact, if any hint of an odor or alcohol, or drugs, or if anything seems amiss inside your car, the police officer is going to ask you to come out of the driver’s seat, and let him or her see how you exit, how you stand, and how you react to questions by a law enforcement officer.
Georgia law (Rackoff v. State) does not allow any calls during your police encounter, so you must know your legal rights. Regardless of whether your encounter with police is a DUI check point or a DUI accident. Some routine police screening questions and tests will be offered.
No calls to a drunk driving lawyer re allowed until AFTER you have totally incriminated yourself. You will not be given any Miranda rights either during this process, and likely not even after a Georgia DUI arrest. What the officer READS you, off an orange card, is the Georgia implied consent law notice that he or she carried in the shirt pocket of their uniform.
While a suspected drunken driver in the SAME situation in North Carolina CAN call a drunk driving attorney in North Carolina before taking the official breath alcohol test, Georgia appellate case law says that this right to contact DUI lawyers only comes after the official, incriminatory breathalyzer test results are obtained, or a blood draw is taken from you. By then, you are knee deep in giving up police evidence.
Call the law office of William C. Head, PC today and speak to one of our 24-hour lawyer specialists. 404-567-5515 or 1-888-DUI-HEAD [1-888-384-4323]. Or, e-mail DUI Specialist Bubba Head directly at email@example.com.