Many people have a difficult time fully comprehending the intricacies of Georgia DWI/DUI law ― particularly since these laws can be so complex. At The Law Office of Skyler A. Taylor, P.C., we believe in providing our clients with accurate and knowledgeable legal guidance. In fact, here are some answers to many of our clients' DWI/DUI FAQs.

What happens to my driver's license when I am arrested on DWI/DUI charges in Georgia?

If you fail a Breathalyzer test after being arrested for DWI/DUI in Georgia ― or refuse breath or other alcohol or drug testing altogether ― the Georgia Department of Driver Services may suspend your license for at least one year. A second failure within five years will result in a three-year suspension.

Why am I dealing with two different cases after being charged with a DWI/DUI in Georgia?

As referenced above, the Georgia Department of Driver Services can suspend your license for one year following a failed Breathalyzer test or refusal to take other alcohol or drug tests. However, this suspension is merely administrative in nature, not criminal. In fact, while you can request a hearing following an administrative license suspension, this hearing is completely separate and distinct from any subsequent criminal proceedings you may face. Moreover, any hearing requested can only review whether you actually failed or refused a Breathalyzer or other alcohol or drug testing ― it cannot address the underlying DWI/DUI criminal charges.

Essentially, this means that you will likely face two different cases following a DWI/DUI arrest in Georgia: your administrative license suspension case and your DWI/DUI criminal case.

I was only arrested once, why am I facing two DWI/DUI charges?

Under Georgia law, you can face multiple DWI/DUI criminal charges following even a single arrest. For instance, if you submit to, and fail, a Breathalyzer test, you will be charged with "DUI per se", which basically means you were driving while over the legal BAC limit of .08 percent.

Additionally, you can also be charged with "DUI less-safe", which is a criminal charge based upon the idea that, generally, you are "less safe" as a driver because there is alcohol in your system. Importantly, no breath test or other alcohol or drug test is required in order for you to be charged with DUI less-safe in Georgia. In fact, even if you take a breath test or other alcohol or drug test that shows you are below the legal limit, you still may be charged and convicted of DWI/DUI if you perform poorly on police-administered field sobriety tests.

Can I be charged with DWI/DUI in Georgia even without a breath test?

Yes. As mentioned above, you may face a charge of "DUI less-safe" even if you do not fail a Breathalyzer test or other alcohol or drug testing. For instance, if no Breathalyzer is administered ― or a test indicates you are below the legal limit of .08 percent ― you may still be convicted of DWI/DUI based upon other evidence, such as slurred speech, loss of balance or simply the failure of field sobriety tests. Being charged with DUI less-safe can be particularly troubling given that there are several non-alcohol-related reasons why you may perform poorly on field sobriety tests.

Can I be punished for refusing a breath test or any other alcohol or drug test?

While it may seem like a good idea to refuse a breath test or other alcohol or drug test following a DWI/DUI arrest, it is important to know that taking or refusing a test is a decision that can have severe consequences. For example, a breath test refusal may result in a license suspension of one year in Georgia. Moreover, even if you refuse testing, you may still be charged with DWI/DUI anyway, not to mention that your refusal can be used as evidence against you in any subsequent DWI/DUI criminal proceedings.

Contact The Law Office Of Skyler A. Taylor, P.C.

If you facing DWI/DUI charges in Georgia, it is important to seek legal guidance from an attorney who knows this area of the law. Contact The Law Office of Skyler A. Taylor, P.C., today if you wish to speak with an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. With an office conveniently located in Peachtree City, we assist clients throughout the Atlanta area, including those located in the counties of Fayette, Coweta and Spalding. You can contact us online or by calling us at 678-671-8745.