Typically, a police officer can smell the odor of alcohol when they approach an individual, so the answer to the question is unlikely to determine whether the officer follows up with more questioning or a request to submit to field sobriety evaluations. An individual is not required to answer any questions about drinking including how much, when, or how recently when stopped and questioned by a police officer.
Yes, a police officer can charge somebody with a DUI even if they do not see them driving. The prosecutor needs to be able to prove that a person was in physical control of a car while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which does not require the officer to see the person actually drive the car. An accident is an example of a case where a police officer could arrive after the driving was over and still be able to charge a person with a DUI.
Less safe means that a person is impaired by alcohol or drugs to the extent that they were less safe to drive than if they were not impaired. It can also be restated as incapable of driving safely. This is a very vague term and leaves a lot of area for interpretation as to whether a person is less safe. The amount of alcohol that makes an individual less safe may be different for another individual. Officers and prosecutors try to use everything they can to say somebody is less safe to include driving and performance on field sobriety evaluations. They try to point to as much evidence as they can to say that somebody is impaired or less safe. Our criminal defense lawyer can advocate on your behalf in court.
No, roadside field sobriety tests (also called SFSTs or FSEs) is voluntary. This means that an officer cannot require a person to perform these evaluations or tests.
Similar to roadside testing, an officer cannot require a person to perform sobriety testing.
If you get arrested for DUI the first thing to do is to contact lawyers to find a first-time DUI lawyer that you feel is competent and that you are confident can handle the intricacies that come with providing DUI defense. Time is sometimes of the essence because if the officer served the person with a DDS-1205 or administrative license suspension form, that individual has only 30 days to decide what path they will take as to that specific license issue. Our DUI lawyer can help you get through the legal process as quickly as possible.
If you are convicted for a first-time DUI offense, your license or privilege to drive in Georgia (if you are an out-of-state license holder) will be suspended for a certain period. That period depends on a person's age, what type of DUI they were convicted of and whether there was an administrative license suspension.
A first DUI conviction for a person over 0.08 grams of blood alcohol concentration requires a person to serve 24 hours in jail with other statutory minimum sentence requirements. Some courts are willing to waive the remainder of that time, especially in a DUI less safe case. As the number of DUI convictions for a person increases, generally, that comes with an increase in expected jail time. However, the expected jail time for a first or repeated DUI oftentimes varies significantly depending on the county in which the person is convicted.
A conviction for a DUI requires a minimum period of a license suspension. During that period of suspension, people are oftentimes able to obtain a limited permit that allows them to drive to work, school, medical appointments, and other specified activities. The only way to completely avoid a suspended license is to avoid the DUI conviction, with either a reduction or dismissal of the DUI charge.
A DUI conviction stays on your record, which is the reason why it is so important to get a lawyer that is experienced in DUI law to have the best opportunity to avoid a DUI conviction. DUI lawyers look for all possible legal and factual defenses to avoid a DUI conviction.