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Kennesaw DUI Lawyer

Pandemic lockdowns had some unintended negative consequences, such as more DUIs. In 2019, a decades-long law enforcement and judicial drunk driver crackdown appeared to be working. Then came 2020. Traffic enforcement dropped to almost nothing. Thus, many drivers developed bad habits, such as drinking and driving. Like many bad habits, this one is easy to form and hard to break. As a result, DUI crash fatalities are almost as high today as they were in 1990, before the crackdown began.

To stem the tide, law enforcement and judicial authorities are tougher on DUI than ever. In this environment, a defendant badly needs a dedicated Kennesaw DUI lawyer like Andrew Schwartz and his crack legal team. Mr. Schwartz quickly evaluates your case and identifies all possible defenses. Then, he stands up for you in court. This assertive posture is the best way, and usually the only way, to reduce or eliminate the severe direct and collateral consequences of a Georgia DUI.

DUI Consequences

We mentioned direct and collateral DUI consequences above. Now, let’s look at these consequences in more detail. Direct DUI consequences include extended court supervision and drivers’ license suspension.

Contrary to popular myth, probation is not a slap on the wrist. Usually, probationers must personally meet with supervision officers at least twice a month. These appointments aren’t dental appointments. Supervision officers don’t schedule them at the probationer’s convenience, and the probationer cannot cancel them for random reasons. Other strict controls include lifestyle prohibitions, consent to random searches, and community service.

In Georgia, a first-time DUI conviction usually means a one-year drivers’ license suspension. A limited drivers’ license that allows defendants to drive to and from work and for a few other essential purposes may be available. But that’s obviously not the same thing as an unrestricted license.

Sky high auto insurance rates are the worst collateral consequences. Most people must purchase high-risk SR-22 insurance and keep it for at least three years. An SR-22 is usually at least three times more expensive than regular auto insurance. After the three years expire, there’s no guarantee that insurance rates will drop significantly.

Other collateral consequences include employment problems and the social stigma associated with DUI.

Defense Strategies

Like most other criminal cases, DUIs in Georgia normally have procedural and/or substantive defenses.

Procedurally, officers must have reasonable suspicion to detain motorists and probable cause to arrest them. Reasonable suspicion is basically an evidence-based hunch. Officers cannot detain motorists who don’t “act right” or “look right.” Probable cause is a much higher standard that’s close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Unless the defendant clearly failed the walk-and-turn and other FSTs (field sobriety tests), a Kennesaw DUI defense lawyer might be able to get the arrest invalidated and the case thrown out of court.

Generally, prosecutors rely on chemical tests, mostly breath tests, to establish intoxication. Georgia law recently changed on this point. Now, an accurate chemical test is positive proof of intoxication.

Chemical tests, especially breath tests, are often inaccurate. Device calibration is a good example. A Massachusetts judge recently ruled that officers used improperly calibrated Breathalyzers for about eight years. That ruling puts over 25,000 DUI cases at risk, in Massachusetts alone.

Contact an Assertive Cobb County DUI Lawyer

An arrest isn’t the same thing as a conviction. For a free consultation with an experienced DUI lawyer in Kennesaw, contact Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. We routinely handle matters in Fulton County and nearby jurisdictions.

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