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Can you refuse a breath test during a DUI traffic stop?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2021 | DUI

When a police officer pulls you over in your vehicle because they suspect that you have had too much to drink, they will ask you some questions, perform some field sobriety tests and then likely ask you to perform a chemical breath test.

If the results of the breath test show that your blood alcohol limit (BAC) is over the legal limit, the police officer will likely arrest you. You may then find yourself facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI). Your basic civil rights include the right against self-incrimination in court and the right to personal privacy. Does that mean that you can just refuse a chemical test during a traffic stop?

Georgia law requires that drivers submit to chemical testing

Personal privacy rights often directly contradict the needs of law enforcement officers trying to keep the public safe. If bodily autonomy were an excuse to deny roadside chemical testing for alcohol, police officers often wouldn’t be able to arrest people for drunk driving.

Georgia has an implied consent law that applies to anyone licensed in the state to drive or driving on public roads. By using the infrastructure or accepting the license, you have already given your implied consent to chemical testing when an officer has probable cause to suspect impairment.

If you refuse a chemical test during a traffic stop, that on its own can be grounds for an arrest and the suspension of your license. Understanding your rights and what laws apply during a DUI traffic stop can help you avoid or fight back against impaired driving charges.

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