Atlanta DUI Lawyer: What to Do at a GA DUI Traffic Stop
At no time have the schools in Georgia given their students information on what to do or NOT do, if confronted by police. This is true for high schools, colleges, and technical schools. This maxim is particularly critical to traffic cases, as well as being valid if approached on foot by an officer.
This blog posting covers traffic stop encounters in which a driving under the influence case is suspected. Because you will never be permitted to delay a police investigation to call the best DUI lawyer Atlanta, knowing this information can save your driver’s license. Furthermore, it may prevent a lifetime conviction for a DUI charge from blemishing your criminal history.
Let us start with the Five Things you Should Do, if Facing a DUI Arrest.
- Initially, the best advice for drivers pulled over by police is to keep your hands on the top part of the steering wheel so that the officer can see them. Particularly at nighttime, officers want to see the driver’s hands. If anyone is in the vehicle with you, tell them to NOT say or do anything, including talk to police, unless they are asked for their identification, and then simply providing it is all the person should do.
- Stay inside your vehicle unless ordered out. Only step out of the vehicle if ordered or commanded to do so. This request for you to exit the vehicle is a form of “custody,” since a traffic ticket is usually issued without the driver being asked to alight from the vehicle. Any DUI lawyer GA will tell you that police do not want you to get out of that vehicle unless asked to do so.
- Remain calm and quiet but be respectful of the officer. Most roadside stops are being recorded, and your demeanor can help you or hurt you. Some officers arrest anyone who does not wish to talk to them or do field evaluations. This type of case is an excellent one for skilled DUI defense lawyers to fight.
- If you are read a “warning” off a green card shortly after arrest, this is the Georgia implied consent law notice. Our attorneys in Atlanta recommend that you say YES. You should tell the officer that you want to speak to an attorney as soon as possible, but that you will take the requested test. The last step, in the next tip, is the most important.
- Under Georgia DUI law ONLY those who say YES to the test can demand (and pay for) an independent test. This comes from a qualified medical provider of your own choosing, within a reasonably close distance.
The officer must transport you to the test location and reasonably accommodate your efforts to obtain this test. Our criminal justice attorneys suggest selecting a hospital or 24-hour clinic is an adjacent county from where you were stopped.
So, by way of example, if arrested in Cobb County GA, ask to go to a Fulton County hospital, Douglas County hospital or Bartow County hospital. All hospitals have an ATM machine inside, so ask to use that method of getting cash, if necessary.
The 3 Things You Do NOT Need to Do, If Arrested
First, under the federal constitution, you are required to provide your name and address to the officer. If that information is on your driver’s license, let that state-issued document be how you give the officer this information. This is the END of conversation since anything else (in the form of question and answer) beyond verifying your name and current address is optional and voluntary.
Those who try to talk their way out of being investigated or arrested almost always WORSEN their legal situation. Name dropping or getting agitated will only exacerbate the legal dilemma for the detained driver.
Second, if the officer gives you a command such as “Step out of the vehicle,” this command needs to be followed. Similarly, if the officer says to put you hands behind your back, do it, because resistance of a lawful police order can lead to a misdemeanor or felony obstruction charge.
An exception to this rule of cooperation exists when it comes to field tests (pre-arrest roadside exercises or police routines for you to perform). For any of these roadside “tests,” (being done prior to arrest) NONE are required.
That means that you should NOT recite the alphabet, NOT count backwards, NOT touch your nose, NOT blow into a portable breathalyzer, and NOT follow and officer’s instructions to close your eyes to estimate the passage of 30 seconds. Many totally sober people CANNOT perform ANY of these evaluations, under the unfair method of police scoring.
In addition, these evaluations are not scientific, due to having far too many variables and possible causes of “clues” from an unimpaired driver. Added to this are the unique and unfair “grading” methods for these police screening tests.
Third, in Georgia DUI arrests, the Georgia Legislature has not enacted laws that permit you to call legal counsel or have access to a lawyer at the roadside before being arrested. Unless you have been arrested (cuffed), any self-incriminatory questioning by police before arrest is “fair game” for police to try to obtain. Many people think that answering helps them, but silence protects you in the only certain way that will not self-incriminate.
The NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: GA DUI Arrest
Most people have seen reality TV shows in which police request field sobriety testing from a suspected impaired driver. Police officers receive some cursory training on agility exercises (walk and turn and the one leg stand) tests. This summary of the right steps to take comes from three traffic lawyers Atlanta GA who have watch thousands of videos and handled cases for citizens who “buried themselves” with chattering with police at the side of the road.
About 10% of Georgia DUI lawyers have undergone ALL the most advanced training courses for defending clients facing DUI prosecution, but all three of our DUI attorneys have taken all the courses. To entrust your defense to any other GA DUI attorney is rolling the dice on your best chance for finding a non-DUI resolution to your case.
These 3 police tests are part of the three SFSTs (standardized field sobriety tests) suggested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or N.H.T.S.A. This agency under the U.S. Department of Transpiration is tasked with improving highway safety, to save lives and help avoid highway injuries.
Plus, one psychophysical test of the eyes (called horizontal gaze nystagmus in police training) is offered in most DUI cases. This evaluation is called lateral gaze nystagmus by doctors, who do a completely different evaluation inside a dark, medical examination room. Since you now know that a marginally trained cop who could only have his or her GED wants to perform a medical test, never submit to the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
However, when pulled over by law enforcement, or confronted at an accident scene or at a DUI checkpoint, a driver who is confronted by the officers needs to know his or her options. In this online DUI lawyer blog post, veteran criminal lawyers Atlanta GA who are specialists in DUI defense tell you the rules and what should or should not be done at the roadside.
FREE ATTORNEY CONSULTATION Near Me With an Atlanta DUI Attorney
Our law group’s traffic ticket lawyers near me at a law office in Atlanta Georgia offer 100% free consultations to all citizens facing a traffic crime or more serious misdemeanor or felony. Do you know any medical doctors who offer that? Unlikely, unless it is a family member.
With 4 office locations, our Fulton County DUI lawyers can offer a DUI attorney in Atlanta GA, an Alpharetta DUI lawyer, or a legal advocate in Sandy Springs Georgia (our main office) or a Cobb County law firm location in Marietta GA. Once you check our credentials, you can expect to have the best DUI lawyer near me for your defense.
Plus, our Atlanta DUI attorney ratings are all excellent, with multiple lawyer ratings services. Georgia lawyer Bubba Head, attorney for 45 years, was named the top DWI-DUI lawyer in America in 2003 by the National College for DUI Defense. DUI attorney Atlanta Larry Kohn has more than 25 years with Mr. Head and ex-cop Cory Yager has over 13 years, after being a police office for nearly a decade.