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Georgia implied consent: Refuse a chemical test, get convicted

Graduations, holidays and the Georgia sunshine create environments for celebration. Adults of all ages make the decision to consume alcohol, yet a fraction of these people drive while intoxicated. A conviction of driving drunk in Georgia holds serious consequences. Not only do you face legal troubles and jail time, you can injure or kill yourself, loved ones and strangers.

Georgia motorists should understand that the implied consent law may further punish drunk drivers. Knowing the potential penalties of your refusal to breathalyze and a potential DUI charge may help you make an informed decision to not drink and drive. Taking measures to prevent a DUI conviction may even save your life or the lives of others.

Georgia DUI consequences

Assuming you are over the age of 21, you may be charged with a DUI if you are found to have a blood-alcohol level greater than .08 while driving. Should you be convicted of a DUI charge, the Department of Motor Vehicles of Georgia reports that consequences may include:

  • Revoked or suspended license
  • Jail time
  • Significant fines and attorney costs
  • Exceeding car insurance rates
  • Community service
  • Interlock ignition device
  • Addiction program involvement

You drive, you imply consent

In addition to the mounting DUI penalties, Georgia’s law of implied consent determines that during a field sobriety test, should you refuse to breathalyze, your punishment may increase. The law states that because you drive a vehicle, an officer holds the right to issue you a breathalyzer test.

Perhaps when an officer pulls you over, you know you may prove to be illegally over the legal alcohol limit to drive. You may conclude that admitting to drinking and refusing the breathalyzer may save you from more harsh consequences in court with a DUI charge. Unfortunately, should you not breathalyze, you may:

  • Be arrested for a suspicion of DUI
  • Receive a court order to revoke your license for one year

The above costs may prove to place you in both financial and emotional hardship, but these penalties may not compare to the grief and guilt you may face after injuring or killing another person while drinking and driving.

Taking preventative measures

Avoiding a DUI charge proves simple if you refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol. Should you choose to drink, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains possible steps to reducing your temptation to drink and drive.

  • Give your car keys to a trusted friend
  • Drink a glass of water per every consumed drink
  • Avoid binge drinking
  • Designate a driver
  • Use rideshare apps

A DUI conviction in Georgia burdens both you and loved ones around you. Should an officer ask you to breathalyze during a DUI investigation, following the officer’s orders may prove beneficial. Doing so may save you jail time and a lighter sentence, helping you recover from a conviction more quickly.

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The firm of Katherine A. Gonos, Attorney at Law, is located in Valdosta, Georgia, and serves residents throughout south Georgia, including these counties: Lowndes, Brooks, Colquitt, Echols, Thomas, Clinch, Cook, Lanier, Atkinson and Tift.