DUI charges in Georgia are relatively common, but they are not a matter to take lightly. Even for first-time offenders, the consequences can cause complications and restrictions to privileges for years, on top of the serious fines you must pay if convicted.
As soon as you are charged, the prosecutor began working on building a case against you, possibly seeking the maximum penalties available. To the prosecutor, you are not a good person who made a mistake or someone who had a few more drinks that they realized and was just over the legal limit. You are simply another case among hundreds, and it is the prosecution's job to secure convictions.
The sooner you begin building your defense, the better chances you have of beating the charges altogether or at least significantly reducing the penalties. Even if you were charged after failing a Breathalyzer test, you may have more ways to defend yourself than you realize. An experienced Dalton defense attorney offers personalized legal guidance you can use to protect your rights and privileges and build a defense based on your specific circumstances.
Challenging the validity of Breathalyzer results
Breathalyzers are not always reliable. Even when they are in perfect working order, they do have a small but significant margin of error. If they are not in perfect working order, this margin of error may increase significantly.
In order to function properly, a Breathalyzer requires ongoing calibration. If it is improperly calibrated, the results do not reflect the actual blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the individual submitting to the test. In the same way, if the speedometer in your car is not accurately calibrated, you may go faster than you realize, and may accidentally break the speed limit.
The devices also require regular maintenance. Without it, they may malfunction and produce inaccurate results. If you have any reason to believe that the device used in your test was not properly calibrated or maintained, you should explore ways to use this possibility in your defense.
Challenging officer conduct
Even in instances where a device works correctly, if the officer does not operate the device properly, it may not produce accurate results. Whether this occurs out of the officer's negligence or ill intent, operator error may disqualify these results as relevant evidence in your case.
It is also important to scrutinize the actions of the officer during your stop. If the officer violated his or her protocols during the stop or breached your rights during the stop, you may have grounds to challenge the charges altogether.
Do not wait to begin building your defense. The sooner you act to protect yourself, the more opportunities you have to keep your rights and privileges secure.