Does the Implied Consent Law in Georgia Apply to Illegal Drugs?
Georgia police officers may pull over anyone they feel has committed a traffic violation. The officer may suspect you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are arrested for a suspected DUI drugs or alcohol charge, you are subject to Georgia’s Implied Consent Law. The Implied Consent Law states that everyone with a Georgia driver’s license impliedly consents to a drug screening test of your blood or urine after being pulled over for a suspected DUI. The law allows you to refuse the chemical test, but if you decline the test, the officer will likely initiate an administrative suspension of your driver’s license. The lawyers at Banks, Stubbs and McFarland will protect your rights and defend you against this license suspension for refusing a drug chemical test under the Implied Consent Law.
Does the Less Safe Law in Georgia Apply to DUI Drugs Cases?
Many clients are surprised to learn that they can be convicted of a DUI drugs crime when they only took prescription medication or a medicine available over the counter. This category of DUI charges falls under Georgia’s Less Safe Laws. For Less Safe cases involving medications, the State has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the drug you took impaired your driving to the point where you were incapable of operating your vehicle safely. The skilled attorneys at Banks, Stubbs, and McFarland have relationships with expert witnesses who know science, and will testify for clients whose dose of the medication was within the lawful, therapeutic range.
What is the Punishment for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?
Every person who is convicted of a DUI drugs crime in Georgia receives a minimum of a 6 month hard driver’s license suspension. Unlike a first offense, alcohol-related DUI, a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs prevents you from earning a work permit or hardship license. There are no exceptions to this complete ban from driving. Thus, it is critical for a DUI attorney to acquire and challenge all of the evidence from the officer’s observations, including the videotape, and the data and results of all the crime lab testing. Our experienced DUI attorneys will also track down evidence that the officer did not have at the time of the arrest such as medical records. A thorough investigation and medical records can provide an innocent explanation to the officer’s observations and may result in dismissal or reduction of the DUI drugs charge.
The punishments for even a first DUI drugs conviction may include:
- Jail time from to 24 hours to 1 year per offense
- Thousands of dollars of court penalties and fines per each offense
- A permanent change to your criminal record
- A minimum of one year of probation with fees for supervision
- Community service for a minimum of 40 hours
- DUI school
- Clinical evaluations & recommended treatment
- AA meetings; sobriety journals
- Other classes aimed at alcohol awareness for DUI prevention
The penalties for a DUI drugs charge are too harsh not to seek the help of a DUI defense lawyer. We at Banks, Stubbs, and McFarland understand the traumatic impact a driving under the influence of drugs conviction can have on your life and career. We fight these charges throughout Northern Georgia and will be your own personal champion of justice in your quest to avoid a DUI conviction.
Punishment for Multiple DUI Drug Offenses
The more DUI convictions you have, the more severe the punishment. Refer to the following chart for a quick overview of some of the penalties for multiple DUI drugs convictions within a 10 year period.
|Penalty||1st DUI Offense||2nd DUI Offense||3rd DUI Offense||4th DUI Offense
|Jail Sentence||10 days - Up to 12 months1||90 days - Up to 12 months2||120 days - Up to 12 months3||1 year - Up to 5 years
|Probation||12 months or more||12 months or more||12 months or more||Up to 60 months
|Fines||$300 - $1,000|
plus additional fees
|$600 - $1,000|
plus additional fees
|$1,000 - $5,000|
plus additional fees
|$1,000 - $5,000
plus additional fees
The chart above only includes three categories of penalties for multiple DUI drugs offenses. Additional penalties such as community service hours, license suspensions and other consequences also increase by your number of offenses. Whether you have been arrested for a first DUI or a seventh, you need the legal team of Banks, Stubbs and McFarland to aggressively defend you and work tirelessly to prevent the devastating effects of a DUI drugs convictions.
Don’t let a DUI drugs charge ruin your permanent criminal record. Call 770-887-1209 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our top criminal defense attorneys.
Inaccuracies in Testing for DUI Drug Impairment
Many people are overwhelmed upon an arrest for a DUI drugs charge. It may seem tempting to simply plead guilty in order to avoid the stress of a trial. Recent news articles, however, confirm that the evidence surrounding DUI drug arrests is largely inaccurate. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland are aware of the evidentiary flaws and will fight the State of Georgia’s case against you.
In May 2017, two news articles highlighted the inaccuracies in testing for DUI drug impairment. NPR published a summary of a multi-state study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association concluding that there is no definitive way to measure the level of impairment in drivers with drugs found in their system. Without a clear indication of impairment, our highly trained attorneys have the ability to fight the State of Georgia’s DUI drugs charges against you.
Additionally, 11Alive revealed a high number of arrests in Georgia where the driver had not taken a drug of any kind. Police officers based their arrests on observation alone, but this was not a reliable indicator of drug use or impairment. As the State of Georgia requires that your driving be proven to be “less safe” for a DUI drugs conviction, incorrect assessments of impairment should result in your case being dropped or dismissed when properly managed by an attorney.
Don’t risk a DUI drugs conviction for a crime you didn’t commit. Call the expert legal team at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland at 770-887-1209 for a free review of your case.