Georgia drivers facing drunk driving charges have every right to defend themselves against the formal accusations. A conviction can result in fines, loss of driving privileges and more, and there is significant benefit in having a strong DUI defense strategy. However, changes in drunk driving laws in the state may mean that drivers facing DUI charges need to rethink their defense plans.
Recently, the highest court in Georgia ruled the state's current implied consent law was unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court determined that it was not appropriate to use a person's refusal to submit to a breath test against them in court. Following that, the state senate then voted on changes that would address the unconstitutional parts of the state's laws.
The state House of Representatives also voted on changes to DUI laws. The legislation from the house also applies to those who hunt while intoxicated or operate a boat while under the influence. Lawmakers claim their goal for the new DUI laws is to balance keeping the roads safe and free of drunk drivers while respecting a person's right to avoid self-incrimination. There are concerns over how these laws will affect law enforcement's time and resources.
Essentially, Georgia highest court ruled that a person has the right to refuse a breath test without fear that action will affect any resulting criminal proceeding. A person facing DUI charges in Georgia has the right to defend him or herself, as well as the right to avoid self-incrimination. A complete assessment of an individual case can help a person understand what these new DUI laws may mean for his or her DUI defense.