If I'm ever stopped by the police and I lnow I'm over the legal limit for DUI would I be best off refusing the sobriety tests and the breathilizer?
Similarily, since I know how many drinks would make me legally drunk, if I'm stopped and I'm reasonably sure I'm under the limit based on my weight and # of drinks in a given time period -
would I be better off taking the breathilizer or having a lab test done? Or should I do something else in this circumstance.
Every situation is different. You shouldn't plan on drinking a certain number of drinks knowing that you have to drive yourself home. The legal limit is 0.08 for all drivers over age 21 anywhere in the U.S. However, every human being is different, so if it takes 6 drinks for me to be over the limit, it may only take 2 for you to be over the limit.
You never have to take sobriety tests; they are voluntary, and most of the time, the office asking you to take them has already smelled alcohol and is looking for more evidence to make his or her case.
Each state's laws vary as to your right to refuse, whether a search warrant will be issued for blood or whether refusal is a separate crime. You can find "alcohol calculators" all over the internet, but be wary of those linked to a commercial enterprise.
As an attorney who practices DUI defense here in Gwinnett, I can tell you that pretty much all evidence the police have in a DUI case is given by you when they ask you to submit to tests. If they are going to arrest you, they're going to do so whether or not you give in and take their tests, so why take tests designed for you to fail on and give them evidence to use later on in court?
M. Jason Rhoades
I agree with Jessica Towne above. Be very careful about how much alcohol you drink before driving. DUI is dangerous. Before driving after drinking, evaluate yourself to determine whether your driving ability is impaired to the extent that you are less safe to drive. If this is the case, you should not drive regardless of your alcohol content. -You can still be charged with driving under the influence even if yo blow below the legal limit.
Once you determine that you are not affected by alcohol, then decide whether you are above the legal limit. There are ways to estimate your alcohol level, however those estimates are only estimates. They do not take into account how much you have eaten, the type of food that you have eaten, your body's ability to metabolize alcohol, etc. Keep this in mind when you decide whether to blow into a breathalyzer machine. If you are confident that you are below the legal limit (and you should be confident if you are driving) then you should feel free to blow into the machine. If your results exceed the legal limit, you have the right to request an independent test of your blood, breath (or urine). I would demand a blood test after blowing into the State's machine.
The law varies from state to state. In general a blood test is likely to be more accurate than a breath test. In some states, I don't know about Georgia, a refusal can be used as an admission of guilt. My general policy in Texas is to tell my clients to refuse all tests and not to provide samples. In Texas you can be considered under the influence at less than .08 if you do not have the normal use of your faculties.
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