DUI Tests and Your Rights
Many drivers in Georgia are not aware of their rights and responsibilities when being pulled over by law enforcement for suspected driving under the influence (DUI). That is why drivers often end up implicating themselves and making their situation worse than it already is.
If you are facing DUI charges, it may not be too late to protect your rights. As a DUI defense attorney at Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I can review the facts of your case, examine the evidence against you, and help you develop a strong defense strategy. I provide DUI defense services to clients throughout the state of Georgia, including Coweta County, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Carroll County, and Dekalb County.
You Have a Right to Refuse to Take Field Sobriety Tests
If the police suspect you of drunk driving, the officer is likely to ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests, which typically include:
standing on one leg
following the officer’s pen or finger with your eyes
walking heel-to-toe for nine steps
Many drivers do not realize that they have a right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, these tests should not be confused with chemical tests at the police station. You can face a suspension of your driver’s license for one year for refusing to take the state-requested chemical test.
You Have the Right to Refuse the Preliminary or Portable Breath Test
In Georgia, motorists have a right to refuse breath tests using portable machines in the field. However, when these tests are performed at the police station, they are not truly voluntary. While you can refuse a breath or blood test after arrest, doing so can lead to a suspension of your privilege to drive for up to a year.
You Have a Right to Contact an Attorney
The right to legal counsel is one of the most fundamental rights in the United States. Your attorney will help you understand the charges against you, the legal process, and your defense options. With an attorney on your side, you can protect your rights at every step of the criminal justice process. Without legal counsel, you may not fully understand what you are dealing with and how best to proceed with your defense.
You Have the Right to Not Incriminate Yourself
When you are pulled over, the police officer will usually ask you a number of questions, such as “Where are you driving from?” and “Have you been drinking tonight?” Many people do not realize that they have the right to not incriminate themselves when answering questions. You are not legally required to answer the officer’s questions if you believe your answers could potentially incriminate you. However, the law requires you to show your driver’s license, insurance information, and vehicle registration. When asked to provide additional information, you can refuse to provide it in a polite and respectful way.
You Can Obtain a Copy of the Police Report
As someone accused of a crime, you can access the police report related to your case. In order to obtain a copy of the police report, you need to identify the police department that handled your case. Then, contact the appropriate police department’s records division to find out about their specific procedures for requesting a copy of a police report. This, along with any body worn camera video or other evidence, can also be obtained through the discovery process in your case.
You Have Freedom From Unlawful Search and Seizure
Since you are protected against unlawful searches and seizures by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the police must have a search warrant or probable cause to search your vehicle. Probable cause can be established if the police saw you hiding something (e.g., an empty bottle of alcohol) or they smelled alcohol in the vehicle.
Practical & Purposeful Legal Guidance
Being accused of drunk driving can be intimidating and confusing. Many things in your life are at stake when facing DUI charges, including your freedom and driving privileges. As a DUI defense attorney at Kyle H. Jarzmik Law, I can explain your rights during and after a DUI stop and help you navigate your case to ensure that you do not accidentally incriminate yourself. Contact my office today to start fighting for your rights together.