Logo Main2

What Happens After a DUI Refusal GA?

The Waltman Law Firm discusses DUI refusal in Georgia, is there a law on this and how does it work. Learn more. 

Contact Holly


about us section

Can You Refuse a DUI Test?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime.

If a law enforcement officer suspects you of a Georgia DUI, perhaps because of your reckless driving, swerving, or other signs, they will pull you over. At this point, under Georgia law, they can ask you to take a field sobriety test or breath test.

You can refuse to take a chemical test at the roadside, but in such a case, the officer may compel you to visit a police station to take a breath test, blood test, or urinalysis.

DUI refusal can mean the refusal to accept any field sobriety, blood, breath, or urine test at the police station or at the roadside. Although you can refuse, there are implications for doing so due to Georgia’s implied consent law.


What Happens if You Refuse a Blood Test for DUI in GA?

You can face harsh administrative consequences if you refuse to take a DUI test. Georgia Code §40-5-55 lays out the rules on this. Essentially, when you get your valid Georgia driver’s license, you are consenting to go along with a police officer’s request if you are suspected of driving drunk or high.

According to Georgia implied consent law, you must take a breathalyzer test if the arresting officer feels you have crossed your legal limit of intoxication. If you refuse to submit to the state-administered chemical tests, your Georgia driver’s license may be suspended. You will not be granted driving privileges during the suspension period.

If you do take the tests, it is important to know the limits.

  • You are considered under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is more significant than 0.08% or if you are under the influence of drugs or any illegal substances.
  • Blood alcohol content must not be greater than 0.04% for a driver driving a commercial vehicle.
  • BAC must not be over 0.02% if the driver is under 21 years of age.


What is the DUI Refusal Process in Georgia?

A law enforcement officer must read out the consequences of DUI refusal for you if you refuse. This is known as an implied consent advisement. They must give you the option of taking a blood or a breath test.

You can refuse one test and accept to take the other test. This will not amount to the refusal of a DUI chemical test. Officer’s failure to state the warning during the arrest will render the test results inadmissible.

You must compulsorily take a blood test if the officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs.

Georgia’s implied consent law states that refusing to take blood tests is illegal as you have consented to such laws while obtaining a driver’s license.

It is important to take any DUI case seriously, as this can remain on your record for life. A criminal defense lawyer can help protect you from a suspension of license or other negative consequences after facing a DUI arrest.

Contact The Waltman Firm at 770.284.8130 for a consultation to learn more.

What is a DUI Refusal?

A DUI refusal can be reflected in words or by conduct. Here are a few examples of what a refusal might look like:

  • If the driver refuses to take any test, it can be considered a refusal.
  • The driver may verbally agree to take the test but show some actions against taking the test, like blowing significantly less air in the breathalyzer so that alcohol on the breath cannot be captured.
  • A driver may try to delay taking a test as it may reduce BAC in the breath. He or she might take some time to take the chemical testing, but this may be considered reluctance on the driver’s side, and the arresting officer can consider this as refusal.

Any of these situations could be considered a refusal to test, since they either prevent, delay, or interfere with proper testing.

Along with these tests, your driving behavior can be used as evidence during your criminal trial.

Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court decided in Elliott v. Georgia that refusal to take a breathalyzer test could not be used as evidence against you in Georgia courts. But this does not mean that you can avoid DUI arrests if you drive while under the influence.

An officer can ask you to take a field sobriety test to prove your intoxication. If you refuse to take a breath test, the police may still obtain a search warrant to take a blood or urine test.


What is a DUI Refusal Charge?

A DUI refusal can incur severe consequences. Your driving license can be suspended for a year. To protect you from suspension, consider hiring a DUI lawyer right away.

Time is of the essence, as you have to request an Administrative License Hearing before the Department of Driver Services within ten days of your arrest. Automatic license suspension will occur after 30 days if you do not take any action. In addition to license suspension, you could face criminal proceedings for your DUI.

The Waltman Firm, which defends clients charged with criminal offenses, can represent you in criminal court after your Georgia DUI. They can help you verify evidence such as the police report of the investigating officer and the videos and photos of the road where the arrest took place. You can also request an independent test at your own expense from qualified personnel if you are not sure of the tests offered by the arresting officer.

What is the GA DUI Refusal Code?

According to Georgia code § 40-6-392, evidence of the amount of alcohol or drug in a person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substances at the alleged time, as determined by a chemical analysis of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other physical substance shall be admissible in a criminal court.

Georgia DDS will suspend your license before giving you a chance to plead the case. But, your license may be able to be saved if it is proved that your DUI conviction was made without following the procedures or the officer failed to state the implied consent laws to you.

Keep in mind that if you have additional DUIs, the consequences increase. For a second DUI offense, you can face license suspension for up to three years, and a third DUI offense can include license suspension for up to five years.

What are the DUI Refusal Laws in GA?

Georgia 40-6-391 code mentions that a first or second DUI conviction will result in a misdemeanor. In contrast, a third conviction will result in a high misdemeanor, and a fourth or subsequent conviction will result in a felony. The offender typically has to spend at least 24 hours in jail for the first time.

A second-time conviction can lead to 72 hours in jail, and a third-time conviction will lead to 15 days in prison. Georgia law says that people convicted of DUI may have to serve jail time, pay fines, deal with a probation period, or perform community service.

You may also be required to take a Georgia department drug program if you are found guilty of DUI multiple times. If your DUI offense is proven in court, you might be required to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle.

There is hope, however. Your DUI case may be dismissed if you can establish an error in police reports, the tests were corrupted, or the police failed to follow the procedures. With the help of a DUI lawyer, you might be able to turn your case around. Contact The Waltman Firm at 770.284.8130 for help today.