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United States Supreme Court Hears Case on Alcohol Impairment Search

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

 

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

 

Georgia drivers may be interested in the United States Supreme Court decision in determining the constitutionality of a warrantless search of someone believed to have been driving while impaired. The Court's opinion will likely be rendered in the middle of the year and will determine whether law enforcement may conduct searches such as blood tests without obtaining a warrant.

 

The case involves a man who had refused to submit to a breath test after law enforcement stopped him for suspected drunk driving. The man had two prior DUI convictions when he was stopped. In some jurisdictions a person who refuses a blood or breath test may have their license revoked for as long as one year. In the state where this case originated, the penalty for refusing the test was a 30-day license suspension for someone with no prior DUI convictions.

 

This outcome of the case creates the possibility that someone who causes an accident may refuse a breath or blood test to determine impairment. Additionally, the case could determine the impact of such a refusal in a criminal trial where the outcome of the test is in question. This would impact anyone who has been a DUI accident victim.

 

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia