There are two different and simultaneous efforts being carried on in most DUI situations: one is criminal, the other is administrative or civil. You need to know the difference and how they may affect you. I have consolidated all the elements of these paths into a chart which allows you to click through the processes. Once you start navigating your way through these treacherous waters, you will see why it is so important to have the right DUI attorney. Aggressive prosecution requires Intense Defense.
The progression of the prosecution and defense of a DUI case is actually quite complicated when compared to other SERIOUS cases. This progression shows the aggressive nature of the state's intent to capitalize on the income derived from alcohol and its use. The federal statute even provides for additional monies for counties and cities who demonstrate a special tenacity for making DUI arrests and convictions.
For this detailed examination of the process, I am using the hypothetical example of a 21-year old non-commercial Georgia driver and licensee. The driver is being arrested for the first time in the previous five years. Note that the case will split into two separate tracks during approximately the same time frame. One is civil, the other is criminal. The suspension of the driver's license is sought by the arresting officer and the prosecutor for the State of Georgia on BOTH tracks. Click away and learn more about the procedures that may affect your driving privileges.
If you understand any of this please be sure you understand the part where the arrest comes FIRST! So, unless you are just looking to suffer, PLEASE don't cooperate in any of the field sobriety tests!
Certainly, if the true intent of the State of Georgia is to reduce the damage done as a result of alcohol-related accidents, the legislature could pass a “no tolerance” (.02 gms level BAC) law for all drivers like the one applied to under 21 year old drivers. Millions of dollars in fines and surcharges are added each year to support everything from retirements to police training, so those working in the state criminal justice system are not likely to kill this cash cow anytime soon. Add these dollars to the alcohol industry and related businesses that support the state with taxes and I think you will understand the bigger picture.