If you decide to drink and then get behind the wheel, there’s a good chance you’ll get arrested for DUI in Athens, GA. If the police suspect that you’ve been drinking and driving, they’re going to ask you to do two things. First, they’ll ask you to complete a field sobriety test. The second thing they’ll do is ask you to take a breathalyzer test.
Now, legally, you can refuse to do either or both of these things. And, thanks to changes to the laws in Georgia, the prosecutor can’t use this refusal against you. But this doesn’t mean you’ll be acquitted of the charges. The police can simply get a warrant requiring you to submit to a blood test. In fact, now that so many drivers are refusing to take the tests, most cops are just going straight for the blood test.
Even without the results of a blood test, if the police suspect that you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they’ll arrest you for DUI. You’ll be booked into the county jail. You’ll have to spend at least a night in jail. You will get your one phone call. This call should be to an experienced lawyer who handles DUI cases in Athens, Georgia. If not, it should be to a family member who can call a lawyer for you.
What Happens if You Do Refuse the Test?
It used to be that, if you refused to take a breathalyzer test, the prosecutor could use it against you in court. They would tell the judge or the jury that you refused the test. They’ll say this is proof that you were drunk or high at the time of your stop.
Thanks to recent changes in the law, you can’t be forced to take a breathalyzer. You can even refuse to take the field sobriety test. If you do this, your license will automatically be suspended for a year. Also, you can still be arrested.
It’s also important to understand that your car will be towed if you’re arrested for DUI in Athens. While it’s not legally required that the cops do this, it doesn’t mean they can’t. If you cooperate with the police during the traffic stop, they may let you call someone to come get your car. Or, if there’s a licensed driver in the car that hasn’t been drinking, they may be able to take the car home. However, if you’ve already refused the breathalyzer and FST, odds are, the cops are going to be feeling very sympathetic.
Your Athens DUI Lawyer Can Appeal the Impounding of Your Car
If you’ve been arrested for a second or third DUI, your car will be impounded. This means that you’ll have to worry about getting yourself out of jail. Then, you’ll have to worry about getting your car out of the impound lot.
The fees to get your car out of the impound lot are expensive. The lots are usually run by private companies contracted by the state. When they know you’ve been arrested for DUI in Athens, they know you’re going to come up with the money to get your car out.
Because you’ll have to prove proof of ownership in order to get your car back, you may be the one who has to do it. Sometimes, the impound lot isn’t going to let a third party get your car unless their name is on the title. And, if you’re in jail for a few days or weeks, these impound fees are going to add up.
If your DUI charges are later reduced or dismissed to a lesser charge, your Athens DUI lawyer can appeal the impounding of your car. These cases are not easy to win. However, if they’re successful, you may be able to get back some of the fees you paid the impound lot.
Contact a Skilled DUI Lawyer if You’ve Been Arrested For DUI in Athens
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, you don’t have a lot of time before your first court appearance. You don’t want to go to court alone. Call and speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens right away. They’re going to need as much time as possible to prepare your case.
Your DUI lawyer will work with the prosecutor to try to resolve your case. This may mean the charges are reduced or dismissed. Or it may mean you accept a plea deal. Call our office today and schedule your initial consultation.