If you drive on the roadways of the State of Georgia, you are required to submit to a state-administered chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine if you are suspected of DUI. Any person who refuses this testing will face the possibility of a one-year suspension of his or her Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive within the state. If your license is suspended due to your refusal to take a State test, you will not be eligible for a limited-use driving permit.
Time is of the essence and it is important to hire an Attorney soon after arrest in order to protect your right to drive in Georgia. You are only allowed 30 days from the date you are arrested to appeal the suspension of your Georgia driver's license. If you fail to appeal the suspension, your license will be suspended for one year beginning 30 days after your arrest. The appeal is commonly referred to as the "30 day letter" and must include certain basic information as well as state the grounds for the appeal. It is recommended to hire a DUI lawyer at this early stage in your case to ensure that all available defenses are asserted in your appeal.
If you refuse to take the state's test, your refusal can be offered into evidence against you at trial. Your refusal creates an inference that the test would have shown the presence of alcohol, but the prosecuting attorney will still have to prove that you were impaired. It is possible to have evidence of your refusal excluded from trial, however, and an experienced DUI lawyer will evaluate your case to determine whether your rights were violated and whether proper procedure was followed.
Many times, those who were charged with refusal did not actually intend to refuse the State's test. Silence, even after being advised of your right to remain silent, will be construed as a refusal. Not understanding the implied consent notice or the consequences of refusing or submitting to a State test are not defenses. If you do agree to take the State's test, your inability to provide an adequate breath sample could constitute a refusal. If the officer requests a breath test and you agree to take a blood test instead, you can still be charged with refusal.