In the recent case of Hynes v. St., decided on May 31, 2017, the Georgia Court of Appeals was asked to determine the following: If a person is arrested for DUI, then refuses to take a State chemical test, and, pursuant to a search warrant, his blood is drawn, is he then entitled to an “independent” test of his own choosing?
Hynes was stopped and eventually arrested for DUI. The officer read Hynes the Implied Consent notice, which must be read to a suspected DUI driver before the State can ask the suspect to submit to a State test of his blood, breath or urine. Under Implied Consent law, once a suspect submits to the State test(s), he is THEN entitled to an independent test of his choosing.
In this case, Hynes refused to take the State blood test, asking instead for an “independent test.” The officer then obtained a search warrant for Hynes’ blood, which was taken pursuant to the search warrant.
Hynes filed a motion to exclude the blood test on the grounds that since he did not get his “independent” test, the State’s test was not admissible.
HOWEVER, the law in Georgia is that you are only entitled to a independent test if you take the State’s test as requested by the officer after reading you the Implied Consent notice. In this case, since Hynes did not take the State test, he was not entitled to an independent test, even if the State obtained his blood pursuant to a search warrant.
So the lesson is that if you take the test(s) the officer wants you to take, the officer then has an obligation to reasonably accommodate your request for an independent test; but if you refuse his request, you are not entitled to your own test.
Under the new Georgia law on Implied Consent, you have 30 calendar days to decide whether to ask for a hearing, or have an Interlock Device placed on your car for 12 months with a limited permit. It is imperative that a qualified experienced DUI lawyer investigate the facts on your case so you can make a competent well informed decision.