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Field Sobriety Test Attorney in Cumming, GA
Serving North Georgia and the Greater Atlanta Area
Driving drunk is a serious crime and is not acceptable to our society and the courts are serious about it. The seemingly endless hoops and hurdles that come along with being charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be tricky and confusing. We all understand that making the DUI laws strict, and costly, is intended to make all of us think before we start our cars after drinking.
Field Sobriety Test
Most of us could very easily fail a Field Sobriety Test, even though we were not drunk. Police officers throughout Georgia decide everyday if a driver will be charged for DUI and arrest. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, one-leg stand, and the walk-and-turn test. If you were arrested for drunk driving after failing the Cumming, Georgia Field Sobriety Test, hiring a skilled, committed DUI lawyer may improve your chances of avoiding jail.
The walk-and-turn test, like the one-leg stand, is designed to test both the driver’s cognitive and physical abilities, which may be diminished by the effects of alcohol and/or drugs. To administer this test, the officer may ask you to maintain a certain stance while he or she gives you directions. After receiving the officer’s instructions, you will take nine, heel-to-toe steps, forward, pivot in a certain manner and take nine heel-to-toe steps back to your original position while counting each step aloud.
The officer will look for “clues” like, having difficulty maintaining balance during the instruction phase, failing to take the proper number of steps, turning incorrectly, failing to count aloud, and stepping off the imaginary line. If you exhibit two or more of these clues, you may be arrested and booked for drunk driving. Georgia walk-and-turn test is not easy to pass, even sober.
What Makes Georgia Field Sobriety Test So Hard?
- Roadside conditions, typically late at night with dirt and gravel on the road
- Flash of headlights from passing cars
- Officer intimidation, dark vest and tactical gear, are enough to make anyone nervous
- Physical condition, like a bad ankle, prohibiting them from performing the test
- Elderly, anyone over 65 years of age
- Overweight, more than 50 pounds, making it very difficult to balance
Experience matters. As an skilled and experienced Cumming, Georgia DUI lawyer, Chris McCormick fully understands the shortcomings of the Field Sobriety Test and can challenge your results in an effort to win your case.
What Happens if I Plead Guilty to a DUI in a Georgia Court?
Mandatory jail time. Despite your cooperation, the judge ruling over your case has no other choice but to sentence you to jail time. Your license will also be suspended for one year, and you will have a Criminal Record (DUI), making it difficult to get a good job. Higher automobile insurance rates will follow you for years. Then add to all of this, major anxiety and emotional stress that often leads to family and work related issues.
What if the Arresting Officer Did Not Read Me My Miranda Rights?
Under Georgia law, a police officer does not have to give a Miranda warning during an officer’s initial DUI investigation. A police officer only has to issue you your Miranda rights after you have been arrested and before the officer interrogates you. You should keep quiet, knowing that the officer is in charge and is listen carefully and watching you. The more you say the more likely you are to incriminate yourself before, during or after you have been arrested.
However, if you have been placed into custody, interrogated, and not issued a Miranda warning any incriminating statements you make will not be admissible in the court of law. It is always a good idea to contact an Cumming Georgia DUI lawyer if you have any questions regarding Miranda rights or any other facet of DUI law.
What About the 10 Day Rule?
The 10 day rule comes into play if you refused to take a urine, blood or breath test. If this is the case in your situation, you are looking at a one year suspension of your driver’s license. You can avoid this by requesting a hearing to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, which must be handwritten. If you do not make this request within 10 business days of your arrest, then your Georgia driver’s license will be suspended automatically.
What Happens if I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Refusing a Breathalyzer test will likely result in having your license suspended or even face jail time. The prosecutors may still base a potential DUI/DWI charge on other evidence collected at the scene, including officer observations, or the results of a field sobriety test. Also, your refusal may be used against you in any possible trial.
Driving on our nation’s road is considered a privilege, not a right. Therefore, states can suspend or revoke your driver's license, levy fines, or even put you in jail for not submitting to a BAC test when suspected of a DUI.
Turns out that under "Implied Consent Laws," drivers have implicitly consented to a BAC test in exchange for a driver's license. Bottom line, if you refuse a Breathalyzer, you will surrender your driving privileges, for 12 months. Those with past DUI convictions can face even longer suspensions or even jail time. Of course, some may conclude that the penalty for refusing a BAC test is less severe than a third or fourth DUI conviction, so it really depends.
"No-Refusal" Enforcement: The state can force suspects drunk drivers to submit to testing under the authority of a warrant. Refusing a warrant-ordered BAC test can result in serious contempt charges, and the police can just draw a blood test by force.