Georgia has some of the country’s tougher penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol. After your arrest, you may spend at least a few days in jail, pay a stiff fine and lose your driving privileges. Of course, officers must have evidence to support your arrest.
Officers in the Peach State usually ask suspected drunk drivers to breathe into a mechanical device that measures blood alcohol concentration. Because of the state’s implied consent law, you have already agreed to this testing by virtue of driving on public roadways. Occasionally, officers also perform blood tests.
A warrant or your consent is necessary
Your blood is a vital part of you, and you have an expectation of privacy attached to it. Consequently, before officers may obtain a blood sample, they usually must obtain either your consent or a search warrant from a judge. If officers fail to obtain one or the other, you may be able to argue the test violates your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Blood draws require skill
For blood samples to produce reliable results, a skilled individual must perform the draw. Likewise, the sample must remain free from contaminants and extreme temperatures. Accordingly, officers in Georgia and across the country typically prefer to use a breath test instead of a blood draw to determine whether a DUI suspect’s BAC is above the legal limit.
Ultimately, because of the technicalities of collecting and testing blood for DUI purposes, you may have a variety of ways to attack the validity of a blood test’s results.