You can and should fight this DUI. In Georgia, an underage driver may be charged with DUI for a BAC of .02% or higher. Yours is higher but that does not mean you don't have a defense....you probably have several. Scientifically and medically, you were not under the influence at .038 and the penalties DUI are too long lasting to treat this lightly. Sadly, as a young Georgia driver convicted of an under 21 DUI.....even though you were not actually impaired.....you would get stuck with a criminal record that potential employers and grad schools can and will use against you. As a former DUI prosecutor and someone who regularly represents people charged with DUI in Gwinnett County I can tell you that it is worth trying to fight this DUI and that a skilled lawyer can help you. Don't let one simple mistake damage your future.
Yes, there is something you can do. Hire a local DUI/DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
They do not have to tell you you are under arrest; they usually do because it tends to make most people more cooperative than shoving them around.
If GA has an absolute sobriety requirement for underage drinkers driving, they may have you on that. This is a different charge from a DUI but still involves loss of license.
Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum. This answer is not legal advice, which requires a personal connection and far more facts. This attorney does not give legal advice over the Internet. This is a general statement about law, not advice.
Without more information, it is impossible to give you a complete answer. However, as a Gwinnett practitioner, I can tell you now that, the sooner you get an attorney working to get all the facts and protect your rights, the better your chances are. DO NOT WAIT to get help!
Please let me know if I can be of assistance. I would be happy to help.
M. Jason Rhoades
First- There is no requirement that law enforcement tell you that you are under arrest. Quite frankly, I'm sure you realized that you had been arrested for DUI when you were placed in handcuffs. The actual time of Arrest is important in the case. For example after you are arrested your responses to questions may be suppressed (kept out of evidence) by a competent DUI Defense Attorney. I believe your refusal to take the officers Preliminary Breath Test on the side of the road will help your defense. I would strongly advise you to retain the best DUI Defense Attorney that is available to you - ASAP!!! The quicker you move to protect yourself the better in a DUI case. I hope this information has helped you. Good Luck! George McCranie IV
The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.
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