A closer look into the new Georgia DUI Law

CSRA News

NewsChannel 6 told you a driver’s refusal to take the breathalyzer test could not be used as evidence in a trial. 

A week later after the new DUI law passed, law enforcement has a better understanding of how to handle those who are DUI.

Georgia lawmakers are changing the way law enforcement, and prosecutors handle DUI cases.

They have to provide more information to prove a driver was driving under the influence. 

It’s then under a judge’s discretion for law enforcement to obtain a warrant for a blood or urine test. 

“Okay officer I believe that you do base on all of the information that you have shown me,” said Cheif Deputy Lewis Blanchard. “From the body-camera footage, and testimony; here is a warrant to take their blood.”

Chief Blanchard says for Burke County deputies; it’s their call if a warrant is needed. However, if there is a car accident or a fatality…  

“If you are involved in either of those, it doesn’t matter if you refuse or not,” explained Blanchard. “If we have enough information or probable cause for a warrant, we will secure a warrant, we will draw your blood and will proceed with the case.”

Refusing to take the breathalyzer test can lead to your license being taken away.

“The Department of Driver Services is automatically going to suspended your license for up to one year, and you’re still going to jail for DUI,” said Blanchard.

Burke County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy says different cities and counties will be policing the law differently.

“We don’t believe at this particular juncture are going to go further to somebody who is refusing; to get a warrant to hold them down to take their blood,” explained Blanchard.

Chief Blanchard told NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson, the law makes it harder for those enforcing the law, but they will continue to do everything to enforce road safety.

“If you are driving DUI on the roads in Georgia, you will be arrested, and we will do whatever it takes to make sure you’re convicted,” said Blanchard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes.

Drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. 

Photojournalist: Antony Sherrod

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