Implied Consent in Georgia
Refusal of Implied Consent – Consequences
Georgia law holds that any person who operates a motor vehicle upon the highways or elsewhere throughout the state shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test of his or her blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purposes of determining the content of his or her blood.
But what happens if you refuse implied consent?
If you are correctly advised of your implied consent rights, and you refuse, you run the risk of losing your ability to drive in the state of Georgia for 12 months. This is a so-called “hard-suspension” which means no limited or temporary permit will be issued to you.
Upon refusal the officer will likely provide you with a 1205 form which, in general, is a form that is attempting to revoke your driver’s license. Unless this form is appealed to the Department of Driver Services within 30 days, your license will automatically be suspended for 12 months. If an appeal is filed an Administrative License Hearing will be scheduled and, if the officer appears at the hearing, you can move forward with the hearing or negotiate the possibility of a lower sentence, such as reckless driving, with the officer.
The law has recently changed in that, if financially viable, rather than appeal the 1205 form, you can install an interlock ignition device, basically a breathalyzer, in your personal vehicle. Such installation will allow you to drive, albeit, in a limited manner.
What happens if you comply with implied consent?
Once you are correctly read your implied consent rights, and you comply and provide the necessary bodily fluid, the results of the tests the state run to determine your blood alcohol level will be admissible against you at trial. You can also request an independent test of your bodily fluid at your own expense. However such a request cannot take the place of the police’s test.
The positive aspect of complying with implied consent is, if you are over 21 years old, you have the opportunity, upon even a conviction for DUI, to get a temporary or limited permit which will last for 120 days and will allow you to drive to work, school, probation, the doctor, etc. After the 120 days, if you have performed all that probation requires of you, you can apply for your regular driver’s license back. (Anyone under 21 who is convicted of a DUI will lose his or her license for 12 months with no limited permit)
In any case, if you are arrested for DUI, you need to consult a lawyer to determine your rights and the correct way to move forward.