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Can you refuse a breath test in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | DUI Defense

If you get pulled over by the police on suspicion of impaired driving, the officer may ask you to take a breath test. This could happen after you’ve taken field sobriety tests. This breath test will then measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to determine if you are over the legal limit of 0.08%.

But do you actually have to take the test? Or would you be better off to refuse, not wanting to incriminate yourself by providing evidence of impairment?

You can refuse a roadside test

Under implied consent laws, drivers have essentially already given permission to take breath tests. They do this when they are granted a driver’s license and the privilege of operating a motor vehicle. This consent to a breath test is just assumed for anyone who is properly licensed.

That said, you can refuse to take a roadside breath test. This is a portable device that could be administered at the same time as the field sobriety tests. You do not have to take this test if you do not want to do so.

However, if you do refuse, then you will most likely be arrested and taken to the police station. At the station, another testing device known as a Breathalyzer may be used. If you refuse to take this test as well, then you may have to surrender your driver’s license under implied consent laws. It can be suspended. But even then, you do have the right to refuse the test. 

It can be confusing and frightening to go through the process of being arrested on allegations of drunk driving. If this has happened to you, you need to be sure that you fully understand all the legal defense options at your disposal.