Sandy Springs DUI Lawyer
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) can be incredibly dangerous to both other people on the road and the impaired driver themselves. Not only does intoxication lead to a higher rate of accidents and injuries, but it can also lead to significant criminal penalties for anyone convicted of operating a vehicle while drunk. The reality is, in this day and age, DUI is one of the most over-charged crimes in our criminal justice system. Poor police training and lower blood alcohol levels have led many people to be arrested for drinking and driving, even though they are not impaired or in violation of the law.
In order to obtain a positive outcome in a DUI case, it is important to retain a criminal defense attorney who has experience litigating this particular type of case. A knowledgeable Sandy Springs DUI lawyer may be able to contest both scientific and non-scientific testimony, seek out exculpatory evidence, and work on your behalf to protect your legal rights.
Defining DUI in Sandy Springs
According to Official Code of Georgia §40-6-391, anyone over the age of 21 found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher may be charged with DUI. This legal limit is lowered to .04 percent for commercial drivers in a commercial vehicle, and .02 percent for any driver less than 21 years of age. If a driver refuses a blood, breath, or urine test, they can still be charged with DUI for being “less safe” to drive from alcohol consumption.
In legal terms, “driving under the influence” also includes intoxication from prescription and/or illegal drugs. A person who has not had any alcohol may still be charged with DUI if a blood or urine test detects any trace of marijuana or any other illicit substance.
Implied Consent for Testing
Any person driving a motor vehicle in Georgia has impliedly consented to submit to chemical testing of their blood, breath, or urine if a law enforcement officer arrests them of driving under the influence. Not consenting to testing can result in a driver’s license suspension of at least one year and the refusal to submit to blood or urine testing may be used in criminal court as evidence. Refusal to submit to a breath test, on the other hand, cannot be admitted against a person in court in Georgia, but can still be used to suspend a driver’s license.
In April of 2019, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law to establish a new implied consent notice that must be read to all persons suspected of DUI prior to chemical testing, since the previous version of the state’s implied consent law was declared unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court in February of 2019. If a law enforcement officer fails to read the new implied consent notice in its entirety as soon as possible after an arrest, any evidence subsequently gathered through chemical testing may be inadmissible.
Consequences for a DUI conviction in Sandy Springs vary depending on how many times the defendant has been convicted of DUI within the previous ten years. A first offense may be punishable by one to ten days in jail followed by 12 months on probation, a mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service, a minimum $300 fine plus additional court fees and surcharges, counseling requirements, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 12 months. In most first offense cases, this license suspension may be reinstated after 120 days upon completion of a DUI education program and payment of a $200 fee. During the 120 days, an experienced DUI defense lawyer may be able to help obtain a limited driving permit for work, school, and medical emergencies.
Subsequent offenses will result in more severe punishments. Also, if the driver had a minor in the vehicle while they were driving under the influence, an additional 12 months of jail time and $1,000 in fines could be added to their sentence for child endangerment. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Sandy Springs will be able to clarify what specific consequences may be applicable in a particular situation.
Speak with a Sandy Springs DUI Attorney Today
Before taking any steps to defend yourself against allegations of driving under the influence, it is wise to talk to someone who has previously handled this kind of charge on behalf of others just like you. Professional support from a Sandy Springs DUI lawyer could make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Call today to take advantage of the benefits of having experienced legal counsel working on your case.