At the beginning of September, a woman in Alpharetta drove her automobile through a park and almost struck a group of children playing on a sidewalk. The driver then collided with another vehicle before leaving the area. Georgia Law Enforcement noted that the woman appeared to be distracted by invisible birds.
After receiving medical treatment, the driver was then taken to the Alpharetta jail and charged with DUI drugs less safe, reckless driving, and striking an unattended vehicle. A DUI less safe charge is one of the most confusing driving while under the influence charges faced by motorists in Georgia.
The Law Concerning DUI Less Safe Charges
The state of Georgia provides four different circumstances that can serve as the basis for a DUI “less safe” charge:
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to operate a motor vehicle.
- The driver is under the influence of any drugs to the extent that it is less safe for the individual to operate a motor vehicle.
- An individual is under the influence of any toxic vapor that it is less safe for that individual to operate a motor vehicle.
- The individual is under the influence of any of the three previous mentioned substances which make it less safe for the individual to operate a motor vehicle.
To satisfy the “less safe” element in each of these situations, the judge or jury in question must find that the motor vehicle driver was rendered incapable of driving safety through the use of alcohol or another type of substance.
In determining whether the motor vehicle driver was capable of operating a vehicle safety, courts in the state of Georgia analyze several facts including: the driver’s operation of the motor vehicle, any observations made by law enforcement of whether the individual was under the influence of alcohol or another illegal substance, the individual’s performance on field sobriety tests, and the results of any tests conducted by law enforcement.
It must be emphasized that individuals whose blood alcohol content was under the legal limit can still be charged with a “less safe” offense. As a result, all motorists who have engaged even a small amount of alcohol should be mindful of the potential for a “less safe” charge.
Common Less Safe Situations
There are several situations when less safe charges tend to be made. One of these situations is when a driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs but refuses to be tested.
Other situations include when a driver demonstrates behavior that shows the individual is clearly unable to safely operate a vehicle even though the driver’s blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
Penalties for a DUI Less Safe
Motor vehicle drivers who are charged with DUI less safe face a variety of penalties including a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $1,000, a jail sentence between 10 days to 12 months, community service, completion of a substance abuse program, and probation.
Reasons to Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you are a motor vehicle driver in the state of Georgia who faces a “less safe” charge, consider contacting the talented legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert who can help defend against such a case.