Drunk driving charges are serious matters that must be taken seriously. You should understand several things if you’re facing this type of criminal charge.
Some of these points may have a role in your defense strategy.
#1: Reasonable suspicion must be present for a traffic stop
Police officers need to have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop. This means that the officer sees something amiss that leads them to believe that the driver is impaired. Some signs the officer might notice include swerving between lanes, slamming on the brakes without cause, and failing to obey traffic signals and signs.
#2: Probable cause must be established
The officer must have probable cause to arrest a person. This could be established based on the answers a driver gives to questions the officer asks, the results of a field sobriety test or the blood-alcohol concentration level of the driver.
#3: Roadside breath tests aren’t admissible in court
Preliminary alcohol screening devices aren’t considered reliable enough to be used as evidence in court. Breath tests that are admissible in court are the ones that are provided by the stationary breath test machines instead of the portable ones. Other tests, including urine and blood tests, are also admissible in court.
#4: Your rights apply throughout the process
You have rights throughout the case. This includes the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, both of which are provided to you by the constitution. Understanding your rights is important so you can ensure they’re upheld throughout the criminal proceedings.
#5: DUI court might be possible
Some Georgia counties offer DUI courts as a way to handle these charges. This court requires the participant to go through substance abuse treatment and drug testing, as well as other requirements. People must go through the program for at least one year.
Anyone facing drunk driving charges should ensure they know their defense options. A conviction can have a considerable impact on your future. Working with someone who’s familiar with these matters can help you to evaluate your options so you know what you feel is best for your needs.