Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense, especially for commercial drivers. If you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Georgia and are charged with a DUI, you could be facing severe consequences that could negatively impact your livelihood. To determine whether you were driving under the influence, Georgia law enforcement officers may conduct field sobriety tests. In this blog post, we will explore the role of field sobriety tests in Georgia CDL DUI cases.
What Are Field Sobriety Tests?
Field sobriety tests are physical tests that law enforcement officers use to evaluate a driver’s level of impairment due to drugs or alcohol. In Georgia, there are three standard field sobriety tests:
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN) – During this test, the officer will ask you to follow a pen or flashlight with your eyes as they move it from side to side. If your eyes exhibit involuntary jerking movements, it could indicate impairment.
Walk-and-Turn Test – This test requires you to take nine steps, heel-to-toe, along a straight line, turn on one foot, and take nine steps back. The officer will look for balance issues, improper turning, and incorrect steps.
One-Leg Stand Test – During this test, you will be asked to stand on one leg and count aloud until told to stop. The officer will evaluate your balance, ability to follow instructions, and timekeeping.
The Role of Field Sobriety Tests in Georgia CDL DUI Cases
In Georgia, field sobriety tests are admissible in court and are often used as evidence to support DUI charges. If you are a commercial driver, it is important to note that Georgia has a lower legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for CDL drivers than for regular drivers. While the legal limit for regular drivers is 0.08%, the limit for CDL drivers is 0.04%.
If you are charged with a DUI and the field sobriety tests indicate impairment, it can significantly impact your case’s outcome. The results of these tests, along with other evidence, can be used to convict you of a DUI. Additionally, refusing to take a field sobriety test in Georgia can result in a one-year license suspension.
Furthermore, it is important to note that field sobriety tests are not always reliable indicators of impairment. Various factors can affect the results, such as physical disabilities, medical conditions, and even weather conditions. For example, if you have a physical disability or a medical condition that affects your balance or coordination, it could result in a false-positive test result.
Moreover, the officer administering the tests may not have been adequately trained or may have made errors while conducting the tests. This can also lead to inaccurate results, which could ultimately harm your case.
While field sobriety tests can be valuable tools for law enforcement officers in identifying impaired drivers, they are not foolproof indicators of impairment. If you are facing DUI charges as a CDL driver in Georgia, it is crucial to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney who can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case, including the results of any field sobriety tests. With a strong defense strategy, you may be able to challenge the validity of the tests and potentially minimize the consequences of a DUI conviction.
The Willis Law Firm is a team of experienced DUI defense attorneys who can assist CDL drivers facing DUI charges in Georgia, including cases involving field sobriety tests. Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of Georgia DUI laws and can develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique situation.
We can help you by:
Evaluating the validity of the field sobriety tests: Our attorneys can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the administration of the field sobriety tests to determine if they were conducted in compliance with standard procedures. We can also assess whether the officer administering the tests was adequately trained and made any errors.
Challenging the results of the tests: If the field sobriety tests were not conducted correctly, we can challenge the results and potentially have them excluded from evidence. We can also present evidence to dispute the tests’ accuracy or argue that other factors contributed to the results.
Developing a strong defense strategy: Our attorneys can develop a strong defense strategy tailored to the unique circumstances of your case. We can leverage our knowledge of Georgia DUI laws and our experience defending CDL drivers to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Protecting your rights and your livelihood: We understand the serious consequences of a CDL DUI conviction, including loss of employment and a tarnished driving record. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and your livelihood throughout the legal process.
The Willis Law Firm can provide comprehensive legal representation to CDL drivers facing DUI charges in Georgia, including cases involving field sobriety tests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced DUI defense attorneys.