As in other states, when you get a driver’s license in Georgia the law assumes that you have agreed to take a breath, blood or urine test if an officer believes you are under the influence. The legal term for this is “implied consent”.
Under implied consent, refusing testing during a DUI stop may increase your likelihood of receiving a conviction and affect your driving privileges.
What happens if I refuse testing?
If you do not agree to testing, you may lose your license for up to a year. This is true regardless of whether you are a first-time or repeat offender and regardless of whether you later receive a DUI conviction. If you do receive a conviction, license suspension or revocation will likely be part of your sentence.
If your case goes to trial, the court may also see your refusal of testing as a refusal to cooperate with law enforcement officers, potentially making it more likely you will receive a conviction or a heavier sentence.
What can I do if I have already refused testing?
Georgia’s implied consent law means that you may lose your license or receive a DUI conviction even if the state does not have formal proof of your actual blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest.
However, you may be able to avoid license suspension by requesting an appeal hearing shortly after the incident. Additionally, if the police officers on the scene failed to give you an implied consent warning or otherwise failed to comply with the law, you may be able to avoid a DUI conviction.