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The Georgia Breath Test
When detained by a police officer for suspicion of drunk driving, a driver's worst nightmare begins. A series of steps will be undertaken by the police officer to determine if the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. S/he will most likely request that you submit to performing one or more standardized field sobriety tests.
One test the officer may request permission to administer is a Breathalyzer test, the breath test for intoxication determined by a small instrument used to measure the driver's blood-alcohol content (BAC). In Georgia, the Intoxilyzer 5000 is the hand-held machine used to determine BAC. S/he may instead or in addition request that the driver agree to taking a urine or blood test. The breath test may be administered roadside or in a detention center. Blood and urine tests may only be administered in a detention facility, hospital, or clinic setting. These options are determined by that state's laws. Refusal carries a possible penalty such as suspension of driving privileges ( see the Georgia 10-Day Rule described elsewhere).
In Georgia, a breath-testing machine called the Intoxilyzer 5000 is currently in use. Many attorneys have cast a great deal of doubt on the reliability of the Intoxilyzer 5000. Your attorney needs to be well versed and current on cases in Georgia law where the results produced by the Intoxilyzer 5000 have been suppressed as evidence. When you hire an attorney with The Lee Webb Law Office, you can rest assured that your lawyer is up to date on current case law as well as arguments about the reliability of these standardized field sobriety tests.
The Intoxilyzer 5000 has been accused of incorrectly determining whether the alcohol it measures is from the driver's BAC or their mouth. Substances such as breath mints, tobacco products, and even denture adhesives can create a false reading.
This equipment's reliability has also been challenged by those who claim that officers are not properly trained in its use, resulting in false high positive readings. Your attorney will most likely question your arresting officer's training with the Intoxilyzer 5000.
It is important to understand that you have the right to refuse a breath test, blood, or urine test. The officer may still choose to charge you with DUI, but a good attorney, such as one with The Lee Webb Law Office, will use his or her expertise to determine if you were fairly charged.