In Georgia, it is not unusual for a police officer to request a blood test if he or she suspects a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While they may not be used as often as breathalyzers, blood tests are far more accurate for calculating blood alcohol content (BAC). As such, a blood test is generally the most reliable way to determine if a driver is impaired.
Unlike breath tests, a blood test in Georgia DUI cases must be administered by a qualified medical professional. If an officer asks you to provide a blood sample, it usually means you that will be visiting the hospital to have your blood drawn. However, in Gwinnett County DUI cases, Cherokee County DUI cases, and in Clayton County DUI cases, a blood drawer is available at the jail. After obtaining the necessary sample, your blood will be tested to determine the amount of alcohol in your system. As mandated by Georgia DUI law, you are deemed impaired if the results of the test indicate that your blood alcohol content is .08% or higher.
Legal Inquiries: Civil vs. Criminal DUI Cases
Like other medical records, the results of your blood test are confidential, but there are a few exceptions if you’ve been charged with driving under the influence. Under state law, certain individuals can access your medical records once a legal inquiry has been made—or in other words, once you’ve been charged with DUI. Under Georgia DUI law, a prosecutor may seek a search warrant to access your hospital records.
In a criminal DUI case, the arresting officer will be given access to your hospital records. In Georgia DUI law, if a person chooses to refuse the State blood test, an police officer in Georgia may seek a search warrant before a blood test is obtained. An officer will use probable cause requirements to get a Georgia Magistrate to sign the warrant. Once the warrant is signed, a blood test may be conducted. Under Georgia law, the officer must prove that he or she had a sufficient reason to suspect you were driving under the influence. In most cases, these suspicions are based on the officer’s direct observations, such as your behavior or the smell of alcohol on your breath. Assuming a judge approved the warrant, the officer may then seek a blood draw.
If you are involved in a civil case, the person or persons who filed the lawsuit against you can also access the relevant hospital records through a subpoena. In these types of cases, the records will serve as proof of your impairment and this evidence will then be used to show that you are responsible for any damages or injuries suffered by the victim.
Discussing Your Records
To determine how your medical records will affect your DUI case, make an appointment with one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kohn & Yager. You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. .