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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Arrested for DUI? Here’s what to do.

Did you know that you can get arrested for a DUI even if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is not .08 or above?  Many people think that DUI arrests can only result from failing a Breathalyzer or field sobriety tests.  However, you can be arrested even if you refuse the tests, or your BAC is below .08.  This type of arrest is labeled “Less Safe Driver” and can be applied when someone simply appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

So what should you do if you are arrested for a DUI?   

There is a 10-day rule in Georgia, which means the clock is ticking and you need to take action.  Even if you know that you were sober at the time of your arrest, you still need to reach out to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.  Be sure to find someone who specializes in DUI law, as this area of law is complicated and charges may result in a criminal record.  It’s also important to contact an attorney as soon as possible, so you have the opportunity to discuss your case and your strategy before the hearing. 

Your attorney will act quickly to request a hearing from the Department of Driver’s Services within 10 business days of your arrest. It is very likely that the state will immediately attempt to suspend your driver’s license for one year or more, so you may automatically lose your license if you don’t request a hearing – even without being found guilty.  If you were sober at the time of the arrest and refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test (or if you were unable to take the test), you still only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing and avoid having your license suspended for up to one year.

If you work with an attorney to schedule a hearing within 10 days of your arrest, you may be able to retain your driving privileges pending the outcome of the criminal charges surrounding your DUI.  Outcomes vary depending on circumstances, such as whether you have first-offender status, a prior criminal history, a commercial driver’s license or your age (If you are under 21, a BAC of .02 or above is classified as a DUI).   Being arrested under criminal charges is a harrowing experience, but an experienced attorney can help you navigate through the situation and get the best possible outcome. 

For more information on this topic, contact Andrew Gebhardt at agebhardt@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-389-4864.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia.  Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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