Under the laws of the State of Georgia, there are serious penalties and consequences for driving under the influence. Even a first-time DUI may result in jail time and a hefty fine, and the penalties increase with each subsequent conviction. Many times, a DUI charge rests primarily on the results of a breathalyzer test. A defendant who has an unfavorable result from such a test may believe that there is nothing that they can do to defeat the charge against them, but this is not necessarily true. Athens DUI lawyer Jason Slider at Baker & Slider has handled drunk driving defense cases for over 13 years. He is here to help you investigate the evidence that the State has against you, including the results of a breathalyzer test, and determine your options in pursuing a dismissal or reduction of the charge.
A breathalyzer estimates a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) by using a sample of their breath. There are two primary types of breathalyzer devices that officers use: a handheld field device, called an alcosensor and an Intoxilyzer 9000. Breathalyzers do not measure BAC directly but instead indirectly by measuring the amount of alcohol that is present in the driver’s breath. Most states, including Georgia, have a statutory level of BAC on which a DUI charge is usually based. Under Georgia Code § 40-6-391(a)(5), it is illegal to drive or to be in actual physical control of a moving vehicle if your BAC is 0.08 or more. Under the statute, it is also unlawful to have a BAC of 0.08 or more at any time within three hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, if the alcohol that caused the result was consumed prior to driving. If you are under 21, that level of BAC decreases to 0.02.Possible Defenses to a Drunk Driving Charge Based on a Breathalyzer Test
Fortunately for drivers accused of DUI based on the results of a breathalyzer test, a result of 0.08 or above does not automatically result in a conviction. The State still has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and a defendant has many protections throughout this process. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the defendant’s arrest, there may be several arguments in favor of having the breathalyzer test results excluded from the evidence at trial. For instance, there may have been an error with regard to the calibration of the device with which the defendant was tested, or there may have been an interfering compound that skewed the results of the test. There may also be issues regarding the timing of the test, the conditions under which it was administered, or the training of the officer who performed the test.
In addition, there may be other weaknesses in the State’s case, such as an illegal stop or an improper search. An experienced DUI attorney can investigate the circumstances of the defendant’s arrest to determine whether there were any improprieties and, if so, how those irregularities may support a defense strategy. It is important that a driver explore all possible defenses in a DUI or other criminal case because of the many negative repercussions of a conviction, possibly including jail time, fines, community service, loss of driving privileges, increased insurance premiums, and the social stigma of a criminal record.Consult an Athens Lawyer for Your DUI Case
As a former prosecutor, Athens DUI attorney Jason Slider knows that not every person accused of a crime is guilty. An innocent person should not be forced to suffer a lifetime of embarrassment because of faulty procedures used by law enforcement. To schedule an appointment with a drunk driving attorney at Baker & Slider, call us today at (706) 208-1514 or contact us online. We represent people throughout Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, and the surrounding counties, including in Athens, Jefferson, Watkinsville, and Danielsville.