In March, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that state laws on chemical testing for suspected impaired drivers are unconstitutional on the basis that they violate the Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.
Following the significant decision, legal experts began speculating about the impact and implications of the ruling. Many believed that state DUI laws would have to be re-evaluated and possibly rewritten to require police officers to obtain search warrants before chemical tests.
Aside from fluctuations in the interpretation and application of Georgia DUI law, administrative law judges in recent cases have been ruling that the Supreme Court decision does not apply when it comes to suspending a motorist's driver's license.
The primary reason for the differing opinions stems from the separation between criminal court proceedings and administrative license suspension (ALS) hearings. Specifically, the state is not required to prove that DUI suspects freely and voluntarily consented to chemical tests in order for the results to be admissible in ALS hearings - unlike the requirement under the recent Supreme Court ruling that applies to criminal courts.
In addition to these unique issues, March's Supreme Court decision will likely continue to impact Georgia DUI law until more concrete changes are made. In the meantime, the unique issues at stake - in addition to the serious penalties involved in DUI cases - should make anyone facing DUI charges in Atlanta or anywhere throughout the state intent on working with proven lawyers.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, our legal team at The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson is here to help. To learn more about your charges, rights, and how our firm can help, contact us today for a FREE consultation.