The Information Someone Stopped By Law Enforcement In Fulton County Is Required To Provide During A DUI Investigation
In this article, you will discover:
- The required information during a DUI investigation
- Why you may want to be wary of field sobriety tests
- Available evidence in your case
- The impact of not remembering the details of your DUI investigation on your case
You’re not required to give any information in a DUI arrest. You have a right to say nothing and to do nothing. However, the one thing you’re required to do is give identifying information, essentially your driver’s license, who you are, your social security number, your birthday, and that sort of thing. Other than that, they can’t require you to do anything, and they can’t require you to answer questions. They can’t even require you to do field tests because walking in lines, standing on one leg, following a finger with your eyes are all compelled acts. You’re protected under the Georgia constitution from being required to submit to compelled acts, and you can’t be forced to incriminate yourself through acts or words. So, you have the absolute right to refuse everything in a DUI arrest.
Now, the practical reality of that is if you refuse everything, you’re probably going to be arrested and taken to jail for a DUI. But people that are not impaired have taken field tests and had blood tests that had come back absolutely negative for drugs and alcohol have also been arrested for a DUI. So, cooperating with the police does not guarantee that you won’t be arrested. It just depends on the police officer and the facts and circumstances of your stop. Every case has to be judged on its facts and circumstances, and unfortunately, you have to make the best decision you can make under the circumstances because you’re not even entitled to talk to a lawyer. So, the best thing to do is cooperate with the police as much as possible and tell them plain and simple, “I’ll do whatever is mandatory, but I don’t want to do anything else.” You don’t fight with a man or a woman with a gun. Just try to cooperate as much as possible and make your own decision about whether you want to submit to the tests or not. If you’re sober, you might want to submit to the test; if you think you’re borderline or you’re impaired, your best bet is not to take the test.
What To Consider When Asked To Do The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests On The Side Of The Road
Taking standardized field sobriety tests in Atlanta is a personal decision. They’re voluntary, so you’re not required to take them. And in fact, the Georgia constitution protects you if you refuse to take them. They can’t use that refusal and take field sobriety evaluations against you. They can’t use the refusal to take a portable breath test before arrest against you. They can’t use your refusal to take a state-administered breath test or urine after arrest against you. Still, they can use a refusal to take a blood test after arrest test against you, and the police have the right to get a warrant, although I’ve never seen a warrant for blood in Atlanta. It’s not to say that it won’t ever happen, but to date, in my experience in 30 years as a DUI lawyer, I’ve never seen Atlanta get a warrant for blood.
Essentially, you can refuse any and all tests. It’s probably a good idea if you’re borderline or impaired to refuse because, again, there have been people that have been arrested for DUI whose test came back negative for drugs and alcohol. Hence, there’s no guarantee that you’re not going to be arrested for taking to jail if you cooperate.
How Not Being Able To Remember The Details Of Your DUI Case May Affect It
If you can’t remember the details of your Georgia DUI arrest, it’s not the end of the world. Most police agencies have body-cam and dash-cam video coverage. The dash-cams have mics on the officer’s uniform, so audio and video are typically recorded. Ultimately, we’re going to want to see the audio and video anyway in the DUI arrest, so it’s not generally an issue if you can’t remember.
What Is Generally Available As Evidence During Discovery In Your DUI Case
There are no uniform standards, rules, or laws concerning police agency video recording. Still, in 2022, most police agencies have body-cams and dash-cams, with the exception of the Georgia State Patrol. They just have dash-cams. They don’t have body-cams, which is unfortunate, but it’s the state of affairs. And so you’re going to get some video recordings in a DUI arrest regardless, but the problem with dash-cams is if the officer doesn’t perform the tests in front of the police vehicle, you’re not going to record what happened, and sometimes they’ll take driver over to the sidewalk for investigation, which is out of the view of the dash-cam, and that can be frustrating. Body-cams have their own drawbacks or limitations, but generally, body-cam of video footage will be the gold standard in video recording for a DUI arrest. The disadvantages are that sometimes you don’t get the perspective; maybe you might be looking at someone’s chest when you really want to see their eyes. With the eye test, the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus or HGN, you might be out of camera range, and that can be frustrating, but you are close and get a good view of how someone looks, how they talk, how they walk, and that can be very beneficial in a DUI defense.