A new ruling from the state supreme court may make it harder for the state to use breathalyzer test results and refusals against you in a DUI case.
Channel 2's Nicole Carr went through the ruling and talked to experts to learn what it means for drivers.
The ruling takes a hard look at the traffic stop and how that interaction goes down between you and the police - and what they can submit as evidence against you.
In a new ruling, the state supreme court is making two things clear about a DUI stop communication: A police officer cannot compel you take a breathalyzer test. If you refuse, that decision can't be assumed as an admission of guilt.
- 'Shark Tank' entrepreneur killed, body dumped in river
- Mother charged with murdering her 2 young boys
- Several arrests made in 1983 'racially-motivated' murder
- 276 killed in deadliest single attack in Somalia's history
“Instead of just antagonizing you and saying, 'We think you're drunk, can you just take this to prove to us that you're not?’ You know, it's all about communication,” said driver Imoni Jenkins.
It's ruling DUI attorneys and experts across the state have been watching closely for months.
“It's going to take away what they thought was a valuable tool, which was that they get to turn around and use your decision to exercise your right against you," said DUI attorney Ben Sessions.
The ruling was born out of a Gwinnett County case in which a man challenged the evidence from his breathalyzer because he felt coerced into taking it, a direct violation of state constitutional rights.
His conviction won't be overturned but Monday’s ruling is one experts said may very well change the tone of your interaction with police, simply because they don't want the courts to see any part of that breathalyzer offering as forced.
“I think that it makes law enforcement officers much more careful in the way, and respectful in the way they treat people,” Sessions said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.