The right to say ‘No’? Georgians can refuse breathalyzers, but blood tests still an option

The right to say, “No.” It’s a decision from the Georgia Supreme Court that allows anyone to opt out of taking a breathalyzer without facing an arrest because they refused.

Drivers stopped for a suspected DUI will no longer need to expect an officer to enforce a breathalyzer test. A new Georgia Supreme Court opinion gave drivers the right to refuse the test and not have it used against them in court.

That’s according to assistant district attorney John Regan, who added that even though a refusal can’t be used against someone in court, there are still other ways to prosecute impaired drivers.

“The breath test is the last test. We still have the standardized field sobriety tests, we will have everything we’ve seen beforehand. The deputies are wearing body cams that will all be recorded. So just because the breath test is out, the standardized field sobriety tests are going to be in there,” Regan said. “If you refuse to do a breath test, which is absolutely your right under Georgia law, we can’t use your refusal against you and it has to be a voluntary consent if you choose to do it. It has to be a voluntary consent. That still doesn’t stop the deputy from pursuing probable cause outside of that to get a search warrant and we can get your blood.”