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Implied Consent Law in Georgia

Georgia law states that by using public roadways, a motorist has consented to submit to chemical sobriety testing if an officer believes the motorist is impaired. The implied consent rule only applies state-administered tests. Medical tests given at a hospital after a DUI for the purpose of treatment are not state-administered. Suspects have the right to refuse sobriety tests and officers are required to tell suspects the consequences of refusing a state-administered test. Officer advisements must be accurate and cannot be coercive. Generally, these warnings are given at the time of arrest. Warnings must warn of license suspension in the case of refusal, state the purpose of the test, state the legal limit depending on the age and occupation of the driver, and advise the suspect that they are entitled to an independent test in addition to the state administered test, if they so choose. If a person has requested an independent test, the officer must make a reasonable effort to accommodate the request even if the defendant has already been jailed.

A refusal of a state administered test, such as a breath test, will always result in a suspension of license. Refusals are justified, however, if the officer gives an incomplete or incorrect implied consent warning. Also note that a refusal, if given after proper warning, can be admitted as evidence at trial. Samples taken for implied consent purposes cannot be admitted, however, in any other trial, which includes any civil case that may be a result of the DUI.

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