St. Patrick’s Day is Savannah’s biggest annual celebration.  In fact, it’s such a big deal, former President Harry S. Truman once attended our parade!  This year, our city’s official St. Patrick’s Day festivities will kick off Saturday, March 14, through Tuesday, March 17.

For those who plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with alcoholic beverages, please remember to do so responsibly and safely. Holidays, such as St. Patrick’s Day, are peak times for DUI related fatalities and arrests.  

Local law enforcement agencies routinely require every police officer to be on duty at some point during the celebration.  Many officers work overtime with the intent to crack down on impaired driving.  This increases the likelihood that you will be pulled over or be stopped at a DUI check point.

If you have been charged with a DUI in the State of Georgia, the consequences can include arrest, license suspension, fines, and jail time.  These consequences may also impact your current and future employment opportunities.

If you are pulled over or stopped at a DUI check point, Know Your Rights:

1) Under the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution, you have the right to remain silent.

2) Under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, you are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures.  This means that you do not have to consent to a vehicle search if you are pulled over or stopped at a check point.

3) If you are asked to complete a field sobriety test (i.e. horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, one leg stand, or portable breath test), you have the right to refuse with no adverse consequences to your license.  A decision to make an arrest has usually already happened by the time an officer requests a sobriety test.

4)  If you are placed under arrest for DUI, the officer must read the implied consent warning to you prior to administering a breathalyzer or requesting a blood sample.  You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or blood test.  However, if you refuse, you will likely face a one year license suspension, and the officer can request a search warrant in order to test your blood.

5) You always have the right to an attorney if you are being charged with or investigated for a crime.  If you request an attorney, the officer can no longer ask you questions.  

If you are arrested for DUI, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.  At Jarrett & Price, our attorneys will hold the State to its burden and will make sure the appropriate challenges are made.  Contact us at 912.401.8880 or contact@jarrettfirm.com.

For more information on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah 2015, visit the following links:

Savannah St. Patricks’ Day Festivities, Maps, and Rules