Atlanta DUI Less Safe Lawyers
Have you been arrested for DUI less safe in Atlanta, GA? Even though your BAC was below the legal limit, you could still face some really serious penalties. Call the Atlanta DUI lawyers at Yeargan & Kert, LLC for assistance fighting the charges. We’ll do everything we can to protect you and safeguard your future. Your first consultation is free, so give us a quick call to schedule yours today.
Understanding Georgia’s DUI Less Safe Law
Every year, police departments and sheriff’s offices across the state of Georgia pull over thousands of motorists on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Those who take a breathalyzer or chemical test that shows a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher are arrested and charged with a DUI.
If your results come in below the legal limit, however, don’t be fooled into thinking that you are in the clear. Under Georgia law, you may still face a DUI Less Safe charge.
What is DUI Less Safe?
Georgia DUI laws can be a little confusing, obscure, and complex. As such, you may never have heard of a DUI Less Safe charge before. So, before going any further, let’s take a moment to learn a little more about it:
According to section 40-6-391(a)(1) of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA), motorists must not “drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.”
This law gives police officers and sheriff’s deputies quite a bit of leeway in determining whether or not an individual is safe to drive. Speeding, improper lane changes, and running through stop signs can all be used as evidence of unsafe driving.
Of course, committing one of these road traffic offenses is not enough to charge a motorist with DUI Less Safe. Before such a charge can be levied, the driver must record a chemical or breath testing result that is higher than 0.00 but lower than 0.08. Law enforcement officers can charge the motorist if they refuse to take one of these tests. Drivers may refuse to take a field sobriety test if they wish.
The attorneys here at Yeargan & Kert, LLC are experts in all aspects of Georgia DUI law. If you would like us to represent you throughout your DUI Less Safe case, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us online.
How Yeargan & Kert, LLC Can Help with Your DUI Less Safe Case
Being arrested for DUI Less Safe in the state of Georgia can be a terrifying experience. However, you do not have to accept your charge without a fight. Our skilled DUI defense attorneys can help you fight back against your arrest in two different ways:
Administrative License Suspension Hearing
When you are arrested on a DUI Less Safe charge, our lawyers can move quickly to request an administrative license suspension hearing. Your hearing must be requested within 30 days of your arrest, so it is vital that you reach out to us quickly if you wish to go down this route.
The state of Georgia charges a $150 fee to file for an administrative license suspension hearing. However, once our legal team submits the necessary paperwork, your driver’s license cannot be suspended before your hearing takes place.
What Happens at an Administrative License Suspension Hearing?
At your administrative license suspension hearing, our attorneys will have a chance to settle your case with the arresting officer. In other words, our legal team may be able to convince the officer to downgrade your charge from a DUI to a speeding ticket or a reckless driving charge.
If the officer is unwilling to settle, a formal hearing will be held and our attorneys will argue that your case should be dismissed.
Potential Defenses at an Administrative License Suspension Hearing
During your administrative license suspension hearing, your Yeargan & Kert, LLC attorney may be able to use some of the following defenses on your behalf:
- The implied consent warning was read incorrectly by the arresting officer
- The arresting officer relayed deliberately misleading information in place of the implied consent warning
- The arresting officer failed to select an approved test
- The arresting officer did not allow you to take a test after you initially refused
- The arresting officer did not read you your Miranda warnings
- You requested an independent test, but that request was refused, compromised, or delayed unnecessarily, or
- You were pulled over without reasonable suspicion, violating your constitutional rights.
Our lawyers have used these defense strategies to great success in the past. If we can repeat that feat on your behalf, you will likely see your driving while intoxicated charge reduced or dismissed entirely.
Ignition Interlock Device
If you do not wish to request an administrative license suspension hearing, you can instead opt to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. This device must be requested within 30 days of your arrest if you do not wish to have your license suspended automatically. The sooner you contact our Atlanta DUI attorneys, the sooner we can file the necessary paperwork.
If your DUI Less Safe charge came about because you failed a blood, breath, or urine test, you will need to leave the device on your vehicle for at least 120 days. If, on the other hand, you were charged with this offense because you refused to take a test, you will need to install the device for one year.
You will be expected to pay for your ignition interlock device out of your own pocket. Fees include:
- Device installation: $100 – $200
- Monthly maintenance: $75 – $100
- Device removal: $250 – $300
Though ignition interlock devices can be a little pricey, they do have one major benefit – they may allow you to keep driving. Once you have installed the device on your vehicle, our attorneys will help you apply to the Department of Driver Services for an ignition interlock permit. These permits are usually approved fairly quickly, so you should not need to spend too much time off the road.
While driving with the ignition interlock device in place, you should be extremely careful not to break any traffic laws. Even a minor offense can cause the court to suspend your driving privileges for up to six months.
With more than 50 years of experience in the industry, Yeargan & Kert, LLC has the knowledge and skill to help you fight back against your DUI Less Safe charge. To enlist our services, all you need to do is give us a call or contact us online. We would be more than happy to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case in greater detail.
Punishment for a DUI Less Safe Conviction in Georgia
The penalties for a DUI Less Safe conviction in the state are almost exactly the same as those for a traditional DUI conviction. A brief sampling of these punishments would include:
- The suspension of driving privileges
- Jail time
- Hefty fines
- Community service, and
As with most criminal offenses, the state of Georgia tends to punish individuals with multiple DUI convictions more harshly than first-time offenders.
If you have been charged with DUI in Georgia and would like to try to avoid these punishments, the DUI defense attorneys at Yeargan & Kert, LLC may be able to help. To learn more about our services, just give us a call or send us a message through our online contact form. From there, we will schedule an initial consultation to review your case.
How to Get a Georgia Driver’s License Reinstated After a DUI Less Safe Conviction
If your DUI conviction caused you to lose your driver’s license, you will probably want to get it reinstated as quickly as possible. Before you can get back on the road, however, you will need to carry out the following steps:
Wait Out Your Suspension Period
When your driver’s license was taken away, the judge in your case set an end-date for the suspension. You will almost certainly need to wait until that date arrives before you can apply to have your license reinstated.
Take a Re-Education Course
The state of Georgia often requires drivers who lose their licenses after a DUI conviction to take a re-education course before they get back on the road. These courses usually run for 20 hours and can be taken while you wait for your suspension period to come to a conclusion.
Pay a Reinstatement Fee
Paying the requisite reinstatement fee to the state is the final step in your journey to getting your driver’s license back. The exact amount you will need to pay depends on how many previous convictions you have and whether you are paying by mail or in-person.
Unfortunately, the driver’s license reinstatement process does not always run quite as smoothly as it should. If you are having trouble getting your license back, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Atlanta legal team. We can help you make sure that all of your reinstatement requirements have been fulfilled and, hopefully, get you back on the road before too long.
Contact Our Atlanta DUI Less Safe Attorneys Today
At Yeargan & Kert, LLC, our team has more than 50 years of experience in the industry. If you need help fighting back against your DUI charge, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Our Atlanta attorneys would be happy to review your case and provide you with the legal advice and guidance you need.