Posted in on May 28, 2014
Georgia DUI Less Safe and DUI Per Se
Now let’s talk numbers—because when it comes to DUI, small differences make a big difference. When someone is arrested for DUI in Georgia, they are asked to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance. When a driver submits to the this test, their results will fall into one of three categories—and each one has dramatically different implications for someone charged with a DUI.
We’ll start with the highest number—those who blow a .08 BAC or more. This category means you are per se intoxicated—or in plain English, that you are “legally” drunk. Of course we all know people who can be at a .08, .12, .15, or even higher, but because of their tolerance they won’t exhibit any signs of intoxication. Unfortunately for these people, everyone is deemed by Georgia law to be “drunk” at .08 or higher.
Next come the in-betweeners, those whose BAC is .051 to .079 grams. In Georgia you don’t have to be drunk to be charged with a DUI—you only have to be impaired to the extent that you’re a less safe driver. This is known as Georgia DUI less safe. The prosecutor is going to try to prove that you were a less safe driver by relying on the reason why the police stopped you, your appearance and behavior, and the results of any Standardized Field Sobriety Tests you took. It is crucial that you have an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney to prove that the alcohol did not interfere with your ability to drive.
Last is the category you want to be in— .05 grams or less. If you are charged at this level, the law presumes you were not under the influence enough to be a less safe driver. It is up to the prosecution to overcome this presumption to convict you.
Remember, if you refuse to submit to the state’s request for a chemical test of your blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance, or if you do submit and the results are .08 grams or higher, you have 10 business days from the date of arrest to submit a 10 Day Appeal Letter to stop any administrative license suspension the officer may be trying to take against your driver’s license with the Georgia Department of Driver Services. This 10 Day Rule also applies to drivers who licensed in other states.