One of the more controversial aspects of the new "Boating" law was the reduction of Hunting Under the Influence to .08 BAC from .10 BAC and adding up to a 2 year Hunting License suspension for a refusal to submit to State administered testing.
Although not “Boating”, the new Hunting Under the Influence (HUI) law reflects the legislature’s desire to make across the board changes to alcohol related offenses and Georgia outdoors. The new Hunting Under the Influence (HUI) law amends Georgia Code § 27-3-7, which lowers the BAC from .10 to .08 for HUI. The law also puts into place a ˜refusal suspension’ for those suspected of Hunting Under the Influence that refuse to submit to the State’s testing.
The reduction from .10 BAC to .08 BAC was designed to harmonize HUI, BUI and DUI standards. While the BAC reduction for boating made a lot of headlines, the adding of an up to 2 year ˜refusal suspension’ to Implied Consent to HUI is a new and complex addition to Georgia administrative law.
Basically, by hunting in Georgia, you are implicitly agreeing that a law enforcement officer can test your blood, breath or urine for intoxicants if there is a reasonable belief that you are HUI. If you refuse under the new law, and before any criminal trial, your hunting privileges can be suspended for up to 2 years. If you do not refuse and are convicted for HUI, or refuse and found not guilty, the suspension is 1 year. If you refuse and are convicted it is a 2 year suspension.
The signed law reads as follows:
Said title is further amended in Code Section 27-3-7, relating to hunting under the influence of alcohol or drugs, by revising paragraph (4) of subsection (b), subsection (f), and paragraph (2) of subsection (g) and by adding three new subsections to read as follows:
“(4) The person’s alcohol concentration is 0.10 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such hunting from alcohol consumed before such hunting ended; or”
“(f) Upon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person hunting in violation of subsection (b) of this Code section, the amount of alcohol in the person’s blood at the time alleged, as shown by chemical analysis of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance, shall give rise to the following presumptions:
(1) If there was at that time a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less, it shall be presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section;
(2) If there was at that time a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.05 grams but less than 0.08 grams, such fact shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section, but such fact may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of this Code section; and
(3) If there was at that time a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or
more, it shall be presumed that the person was under the influence of
alcohol, as prohibited by paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (b) of
this Code section; and
(4)(3) If there was at that time or within three hours after hunting, from alcohol consumed before such hunting ended, a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10 0.08 or more grams, the person shall be in violation of paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section.”
“(2) At the time a chemical test or tests are requested, the arresting officer shall read to the person the following implied consent warning:
‘Georgia law requires you to submit to state administered chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances for the purpose of determining if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you refuse this testing and you are convicted of hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your privilege to hunt in this state will be suspended for a period of two years. Your refusal to submit to the required testing may be offered into evidence against you at trial. If you consent to the test, the results may be offered into evidence against you submit to testing and the results indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more or the presence of any illegal drug, your privilege to hunt in this state may be suspended for a minimum period of one year. After first submitting to the required state tests, you are entitled to additional chemical tests of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances at your own expense and from qualified personnel of your own choosing. Will you submit to the state administered chemical tests of your (designate which tests) under the implied consent law?'”
“(j) Nothing in this Code section shall be deemed to preclude the acquisition or Admission of evidence of a violation of this Code section if the evidence was obtained by voluntary consent or a search warrant as authorized by the Constitution or the laws of this state or the United States.
(k) Upon the request of a law enforcement officer, if a person consents to submit to a chemical test designated by such officer as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, and the results of such test indicate an alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, upon a conviction of a violation of paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this Code section, in addition to any other punishment imposed, such person’s privileges to hunt in this state shall be suspended by operation of law for a period of one year. Even if such person did not possess a valid hunting license at the time of the violation, such person’s hunting privileges shall be suspended for one year.
(l) Following the period of suspension set forth in subsection (i) or (k) of this Code section, such person may apply to the department for reinstatement of his or her hunting privileges. Any suspension pursuant to this Code section shall remain in effect until such person submits proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program certified by the Department of Driver Services and pays a restoration fee of $200.00, unless such conviction was a recidivist conviction, in which case the restoration fee shall be $500.00.”
Hunting while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a risk to the safety of others. The new Georgia Law is designed to strengthen public safety and will hopefully deter those who hunt in Georgia from doing so under the influence of drugs or alcohol. BAC levels in Georgia are now all at the same level of .08 for HUI, BUI and DUI.
About the attorney: Anne Bishop is a Georgia Lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWI, Marijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters. The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, Oakwood, Flowery Branch), Jackson County (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.
This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.