Most people charged with Driving Under the Influence when their blood alcohol level is over the State’s legal limit of 0.08 never learn that the law requires the prosecutor to show the breath or blood sample provided was taken within three hours of driving the car.
When is this important, always, but it is most important when a DUI case is atypical, specifically when there has been a delay between police involvement and the test of a person’s breath or blood.
An example, a client of ours was in a wreck at two a.m. in a part of town where the DUI task force does not patrol. EMS, the fire department, and the Atlanta Police arrived. It took the Officer nearly the entire three hours, almost to the minute, to get our driver, who wrecked her car, to the Georgia Tech Police Department for testing. Our client did take the Officer’s test and blew over the limit, but the officer was not able to show evidence that she had driven the car within the three hours prior to the test.
It was unclear how long it took for the police to arrive at the scene. As you can imagine this was a large factor in the outcome once we brought her case to court.
Simply put the law in not driving over the legal limit, it is driving and within three hours having a blood alcohol content over the legal limit!