Getting pulled over and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol can be scary, and if it's never happened to you before, you may be wondering what to expect. The situation can vary based on where you live and your specific circumstances. However, here's a look at what happens in an average scenario.
1. Blood-Alcohol Tests
In many cases, the cops will start with a road sobriety test, but then, they may request a blood test or a breathalyzer. As a general rule of thumb, you should not refuse a breathalyzer or a blood test. Most states have implied consent laws, which mean that you consent to these tests by driving on the road.
If you refuse to take the test, you may face losing your license. That rule is still in place. However, a new decision handed down by the Supreme Court of Georgia changes things a little bit. The decision says that a being forced to take the test is anti-constitutional because it essentially forces people to give self-incriminating evidence, something that's prohibited in the 5th amendment.
As a result, your lawyer can argue that the blood-alcohol test is not permissible evidence to be allowed in court, and additionally, the courts can't use your refusal to take the test as an indication of guilt either. At the same time, however, while this information can no longer be used in court, you can still face a civil penalty like losing your license if you refuse to take the test in a state with implied consent laws.
After your arrest, the courts may assess bail. Always try to find the bail and pay it. Once you post bail, you can leave the jail until your trial. You don't want to sit there waiting, and it's easier to prepare and meet with your DUI attorney if you are out.
3. Random Drug and Alcohol Tests
Bail isn't just about money. In some cases, you may have to submit to random drug and alcohol tests as part of your bail. If you don't show up for these tests or if the test finds drugs or alcohol in your system, you may be forced to return to jail.
In some cases, if you still have your license, you may even have to get a breathalyzer attached to the ignition of your car. That prevents you from driving if alcohol is in your system. On top of that, the courts may require you to take classes or go to meetings about addiction and alcohol abuse.
It's important to be ready, and it's critical to follow the instructions related to your bail. Beyond that, a DUI attorney, such as from Pollack & Ball LLC, can help you navigate the trial.