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What issues can be contested in an implied consent hearing? P.2

Last time, we began looking at Georgia’s implied consent law, including the notice law enforcement is supposed to provide to drivers when requesting chemical testing. As we noted, motorists who have had their driving privileges suspended under implied consent law, whether because of refusing to submit or because of a finding of intoxication, are able to request a hearing.

The issues that may be challenged in an implied consent hearing concern the requirements for license suspension. There is, first of all, the issue of whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe the driver was in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, there is the issue of whether the driver was properly arrested for a violation of law specified by the implied consent statute or for being involved in an accident or collision resulting in serious injury or fatality. 

Another issue that may be contested in an implied consent hearing is whether the arresting officer properly informed the driver of his or her implied consent rights and the consequences of submitting or refusing to submit to such testing. Failure to provide proper notice may render a license suspension invalid.

Whether the driver refused testing, or whether the test results were what the arresting officer reported them to be. A separate, but related, issue is whether the testing procedure was administered properly, by a trained individual with a valid permit from the state on an approved instrument which was properly maintained.

Implied consent hearings are not technically part of the criminal process, but they are closely related to it. Those who face penalties under implied consent law can, of course, benefit from working with an experienced attorney in navigating the process, especially when the defendant also faces criminal charges

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