Were you arrested for DUI & drugs?
In the state of Georgia, if you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you will be taken in and asked to submit to a chemical test. There are three different types of chemical tests that officials can use to test you for alcohol or drugs: breath tests, blood tests and urine tests. Urine tests are most commonly used when law enforcement officials suspect that a driver is under the influence of a drug, rather than alcohol. Unfortunately, urine tests are not always reliable. The concentration of drugs or alcohol appears more concentrated in urine as opposed to the blood, so the evidence may appear worse than what is actually true. If you were arrested for DUI in Georgia, then contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer from The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson.
DUI and drugs is actually becoming a much more common offense in Georgia. According to the Georgia Code, Motor Vehicles & Traffic Title 40 § 40-6-391, "It is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive." Huffing and driving is also prohibited, as the presence of glue, aerosols and other toxic vapors in a driver's system can warrant a DUI arrest.
The Georgia code continues to explain,
(6) Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section, there is any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined in Code Section 16-13-21, present in the person's blood or urine, or both, including the metabolites and derivatives of each or both without regard to whether or not any alcohol is present in the persons breath or blood.
The largest question that should be evaluated is "Was the driver incapable of driving the vehicle safely?" This can be a highly subjective question to answer. In contrast to alcohol concentration, there is no proven way to measure what amount of drugs is enough to impair a driver. For example, .08 percent is the national legal limit for blood alcohol concentration. Anything over this limit is illegal. With drugs and other harmful toxins, there is no standard amount that could constitute a conviction. A urine test can simply show what, if any, drugs were in a person's system. Even if drugs were found in a driver's urine sample, the question then becomes "Was it enough to prevent the driver from operating their vehicle safely?"
Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test
The penalty for refusing any chemical test, breath, blood or urine, after a lawful drunk driving arrest is automatic license suspension. However, drivers can request an administrative license hearing within ten days of their arrest in order to contest the suspension. If the driver is successfully able to combat the evidence, then their license will be restored. If not, there is still the possibility of petitioning for some limited driving privileges while the driver serves the duration of their license suspension.
The Accuracy of Urine Tests
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, statistics indicate that nearly 20 percent of labs that processed urine samples reported illegal drugs when there actually was no trace of narcotics in the sample. These types of tests are definitely susceptible to human error. Proving a mistake like this could result in a complete case dismissal or charge reductions. Urine tests also can give false readings when it comes to legal substances like non-prescription painkillers, cold medicine and even some foods. You need an experienced attorney on your side if you've been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For a free evaluation of your case, contact Atlanta DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson today!