I've gotten a lot of questions recently about what constitutes a DUI Less Safe in Georgia. Most people don't even know that there is a difference between DUI and DUI Less Safe or that there is even a DUI Less Safe law in the state of Georgia.
So, what is a DUI Less Safe?
According to Georgia law, a person shall 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” (O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(a)(1)). This means that in Georgia that the DUI Less Safe is just as serious as DUI. Georgia does not have OWI, Wet Reckless, or DWI.
But what is the difference then?
DUI Less Safe refers to the standard of evidence used to prove the accused person of driving under the influence. Let's look at two different cases in order to see what the State must prove.
1. The accused person was under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it was less safe for the person to operate a motor vehicle than if he or she were not so affected. Therefore, it is not sufficient that the evidence shows the defendant had alcohol in his or her system. Anderson v. State, 226 Ga. 35 (1970).
2. The accused person's impaired driving depends on his or her individual response to alcohol. Everyone responds to alcohol differently so just the presence of alcohol in the accused person's body does not, alone, support that he or she was an impaired driver. Evans v. State, 253 Ga. App. 71 (2001).
What constitutes proof?
A chemical test is not necessary to show that the person was under the influence of alcohol or that he or she was an impaired driver. An officer's observations during the investigation are typically used to support that the driver was impaired in a DUI Less Safe. Georgia officers are trained to look for any clues or hints such as:
- Admission of drinking
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Repetition or inconsistency during conversation
- Odor of alcohol
- Fumbling or clumsiness
Also to be noted, there is a DUI Less Safe Drugs in Georgia, which as the name suggests refers to driving under the influence of drugs or medications instead of alcohol.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI Less Safe, the same consequences apply as any DUI in Georgia. As explained above, the only difference between a DUI Less Safe and a DUI is how the case is proved by the state. Contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today to get the best defense started for your case.