If you get stopped for a DUI in Georgia and have had something to drink or are under the influence of any drugs, including prescription medications, there are things you should do and things you should not do to protect yourself legally.
What you SHOULD do if you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI in Georgia:
- Pay attention to the circumstances surrounding your detention so that you can tell them to your lawyer. Police officers must follow specific rules and guidelines when pulling a person over and your lawyer will determine if all necessary requirements were met.
- Be respectful and polite to officers and answer questions pertaining to your identity and address ONLY.
- Provide your driver's license and proof of insurance. If your driver's license is suspended, neither confirm nor deny this fact to the officer. In terms of insurance, you either have it or you don't. If you cannot find the card, don't be concerned; simply provide a copy of it to your attorney.
- Tell the officer that you will be glad to answers any questions or take any roadside tests as long as you have an attorney present.
- Invoke your right to a lawyer and request that you be allowed to call attorney Scott M. Patterson at (770) 422-8840.
- If you are not allowed to call your lawyer at this time refuse to take any field sobriety tests or breath tests. By refusing all requested tests, BE ADVISED THAT YOU will most likely be placed under arrest and have your license suspended for a year or more depending on your past driving record. The advantage of refusing is that depending on how well you were driving before you were stopped and the reason for the stop, you have the best opportunity to have your DUI reduced or to be found not guilty at trial.
- If you are placed under arrest, pay attention to the circumstances surrounding the arrest so that you can tell them to your lawyer. If the officer makes any mistakes or does not follow procedure properly it will help your case. For example, if he/she does not inform you that you are under arrest and/or does not read you your “implied consent rights” in a timely manner, any subsequent tests may be suppressed from evidence.
- In the days immediately following your arrest, you should be aware of the Ten Day Rule. This Georgia law states that if you have been arrested for DUI, had your license taken by the officer and served with a DDS 1205 (temporary driving permit), you only have 10 business days to request a hearing. If you do not request this hearing, your license will automatically be suspended. Your lawyer will send the letter requesting the hearing for you. Call attorney Scott M. Patterson at (770) 422-8840.
If any of the following facts are present in your DUI arrest, the Ten Day Rule applies to you and you must act now:
- I took the test and my blood alcohol level was .08 or higher.
- I refused to take the test.
- I tried to take the test, but they said I refused.
- I was under 21 on the day of my arrest, and my test result was .02 or higher.
- I have a CDL, was in my rig when arrested, and my blood alcohol level was .04 or higher.
- I am not sure what my blood alcohol level was.
What you SHOULD NOT do if you are pulled over under suspicion of a DUI in Georgia:
- Never answer any preliminary questions such as where you've been, how much alcohol you've consumed, etc.
- If you want to have the best chance of defending your case, NEVER perform any field sobriety (roadside) tests such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, The One Leg Stand, or The Walk and Turn test.
- Never blow into any handheld device (the Alcosensor®) on the side of the road. Note: if you do take a field sobriety test or blow into the the Alcosensor®, your lawyer will want to question the arresting officer closely about his/her Field Sobriety Training, as well as how he/she administered and scored the tests. Mistakes diminish the validity of the tests.
- Do not consent to a search of your vehicle, person, or property.
- Never argue with a police officer.
- Do not resist being handcuffed.
- Do not let an officer's actions or words intimidate you into doing something you have no legal obligation to do.
The bottom line is, a DUI arrest can be scary and intimidating but a good lawyer can help you make the right decisions. Contact The Patterson Cozzo Law Firm at (770) 422-8840