Nick Estes, age 40, one of the Canton City Councilman, was arrested on charges of driving under the influence (DUI) on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at around 1 a.m.
According to the reports of law enforcement, a city of Canton police officer pulled Estes over while he was driving along Reinhardt College Parkway due to Estes' failure to maintain his lane. He was driving a 2015 Tesla, and was observed swerving within his lane from side to side, before finally leaving his lane multiple times.
Estes was stopped at Riverstone Plaza, and when questioned initially told police that he had not consumed any alcohol. However, after he agreed to take evaluations, he later admitted to having a single drink. Then, a little later yet, he said that it was two drinks.
When given a breathalyzer test, Estes blew a 0.119. The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC). A blood sample was submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for further testing.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for DUI, or failure to maintain lane, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.
Understanding Blood Alcohol Content
A person's blood alcohol content is often a determinative factor in whether he or she faces charges related to DUI. Under Georgia law, a person is considered per se intoxicated if he or she blows at 0.08% BAC or higher on a breath test.
The numbers are different for certain types of drivers:
- Drivers under 21: 0.02% BAC or higher
- Drivers Requiring a Commercial Driver's License: 0.04% BAC or higher
Even when a person is not over the legal limit, the implications of a lower BAC can have an effect on your DUI case.
Georgia DUI law sets forth certain other presumptions regarding intoxication when the BAC is within or below certain ranges.
If a person's BAC is between 0.05% to just under 0.08 BAC%, there is no presumption of either sobriety or impairment. However, Georgia law enforcement officers are taught, with charts, that body weight, gender, and age can have an effect within this range.
Legally, a breathalyzer reading of under 0.05% BAC entitles a person to a presumption of sobriety.
Charges Despite BAC Below the "Legal Limit"
A person can be charged with DUI even when that person's BAC is below the legal limit. For one, drug intoxication does not result in an increase in a person's BAC.
Even when a person has been drinking, but his or her BAC does not rise to the level of per se intoxication, that person can still be charged with DUI. A "DUI less safe" can occur when an officer believes your intoxication made you less safe to drive, even though you were under the applicable BAC.
Consult an Experienced Georgia DUI Attorney
When a person is charged with a Georgia DUI charge, there are defenses that can be raised to defend the case. An experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case, and your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.