Your Right To an Independent Test Under the Implied Consent Law

The Georgia Implied Consent statute basically says that when a person is arrested for DUI, they have “impliedly consented” to provide the State with a sample of their blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance for the “purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

While there are, in my opinion, many Constitutional problems with requiring a person in Georgia to perform an act which could incriminate that person, today I wanted to discuss your “rights” under the Georgia Implied Consent Law.

After the arrest, the officer will read a section of the law to you. He will ask whether you will submit to a State chemical test of your breath (or blood or urine).

He will also inform you that, once you take the State test, you are entitled to an independent test, of your own choosing, by qualified personnel, of your blood, breath , urine or bodily substance.

HOWEVER, if you choose to take the State’s test, and then decide to have an independent test, you need to know the following:

  1. You must make a request that can be reasonably construed as a request for an independent test. Simply mentioning, say, prior to arrest, words such as, “ I will take a blood test”, may NOT be construed as such a request. You need to emphatically, more than once, say, “I would like an independent test of my blood, or breath, urine or other bodily substance.” Then you must designate which test(s) you choose.
  2. Once you make a request, the officer has to “reasonably accommodate such request.” Therefore, he must take you to the hospital of your choice for a blood test, provided, of course that your choice of hospital is reasonable. (you cannot request the officer to take you to a hospital an hour away); or he must get an independent breath test, or he must somehow figure out what “other” bodily substance can be tested.
  3. If you have made a valid request for an independent test, and the officer does not reasonably accommodate your request, then any State chemical test would be inadmissible in evidence against you.
  4. Remember: if you “refuse” to take the state test first, then not only can your license be suspended for a full year, you do not have the right to a chemical test of your choosing.



About Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

mr ga duiThe best way to avoid DUI is to understand the effects that alcohol has on your body and how much you can drink before becoming legally impaired.

Blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) is the measure of the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. The legal limit for BAC in Georgia is .08 for adults and .02 for individuals under 21. There are many factors that affect an individual’s BAC including the following:

  • The strength of the alcohol one is consuming. According to the CDC, a standard drink equals the amount of alcohol found in one of the following: 12 oz of beer, 8 oz of malt liquor, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz (or a shot) of distilled spirits or liquor.
  • The number of drinks you consume and the amount of time during which you consume them. If you have three drinks within one hour, your blood alcohol level will increase more than if you consume two drinks over the period of three hours.
  • Whether or not you’ve eaten. Drinking on an empty stomach means your body will absorb the alcohol more quickly than if you’d had a large meal before a drink.
  • If you’re a woman. Women’s bodies generally have more fat and less water than the male body and because fat cells do not absorb alcohol as well as other cells, more alcohol is left in the body when women drink.
  • How much you weigh. The more you weigh, the more water is present in your body to help dilute the alcohol in your system.
  • How old you are. Older people’s bodies do not process alcohol as easily as younger adults do.

Once you drink alcohol, it is absorbed More