New Changes When Police Ask for Your Breath or Blood During a DUI Arrest

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What do the changes made to the Georgia Implied Consent Warning mean for you?

Recently, the Georgia Legislature enacted House Bill 471 which significantly changes the wording of Georgia’s Implied Consent Warning. The implied consent warning is typically read to drivers arrested for DUI. The purpose of the implied consent notice is to ask whether you will agree to take a state administered test of your breath, blood, or urine to determine the level of alcohol in your body. The officer typically keeps the card in his shirt pocket and reads from it after your arrest. The card has typically been an orange card, but now it will be neon green.

The Georgia Supreme Court has held that your refusal to submit to a BREATH test can no longer be used against you at trial. However, the old notice included that your refusal to submit to the state administered test of your breath, blood or urine may be offered into evidence against you. The new language omits the word breath from the refusal language. Now it seems that only your refusal to submit to either blood or urine testing may be used against you.

Old language: “Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial.”
New language: “Your refusal to submit to blood or urine testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial.”

What is most significant about this new change is the timing, especially when the officers received the new implied consent card. Most counties did not receive the new cards immediately and have been reading the incorrect notice at the time of arrest. This is a major issue that could substantially affect your case. It is critical that you contact The Law Office of Nicole L. McArthur, LLC to review your DUI arrest.

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