The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that it’s unconstitutional for prosecutors to admit into evidence that a defendant refused to perform a breath test back in February of this year. They argued that it violated that individual’s Fifth Amendment protections by doing so. Refusal of a blood test still can be admitted into evidence in Georgia courtrooms though.
Police officers across the state used to first explain implied consent laws to suspected motorists before ultimately administering breath tests. Most of them have stopped asking suspected intoxicated motorists to take breath tests ever since the Supreme Court made their ruling back in February though. Many officers report that suspects now either have to voluntarily say that they either want to refuse or to take the test.
In case you’re wondering why a blood test is admissible in court whereas a breath one is not, it comes down to one of these actions being more passive than another. Having a suspect blow into a Breathalyzer device is seen as being more of a submissive act whereas giving blood is thought of as a more passive one.
The Supreme Court ruling has made proving a suspect is intoxicated a much more costly proposition as police are required to secure a warrant to draw blood. Law enforcement then has to find a qualified professional to do the same.
If you’ve been stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Cartersville, then it matters what you do and say during your traffic stop. You may want to consult with a DUI & traffic offenses attorney if you’ve had a run-in with the law. Your lawyer can discuss your stop with you and let you know what your rights are in your case.