One of the most common misconceptions about DUIs in the state of Georgia is that if you blow under the legal limit of 0.08, then you can't be charged with a DUI. There are actually two ways that you can be convicted of driving under the influence even if you blew under 0.08.
The first way is DUI Per Se. This means that the state of Georgia must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving while your BAC, or blood alcohol concentration, was 0.08 or more within three hours after you were driving from alcohol consumed before you were driving.
The second way is DUI Less Safe. This means that the state of Georgia must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were incapable of driving safely because of either the effects of drugs or alcohol. The effects must meet the level of rendering you incapable of driving or operating a motor vehicle safely. Along with alcohol-related DUI Less Safe, there is also DUI Less Safe Drugs, which includes both illegal drugs and prescription drug DUI. Having a valid prescription is not a defense.
Why is this so important? Well, most states offer a lesser charge of DUI such as OWI, DWI, or Wet Reckless. A DUI Less Safe and a DUI carry the same consequences and penalties in Georgia. A person is usually charged with a DUI Less Safe when he or she refuses to submit to testing (breath, blood, or urine) or when he or she has a BAC of less than 0.08. When faced with either of these occurrences, Georgia relies on other evidence. This evidence includes the following:
- Slurred speech
- Odor of drugs or alcohol
- Bloodshot eyes
- Inconsistent answers
To gain access to this evidence, Georgia will use the arresting officer's experience with you. The testimony of the arresting officer will be used in court. However, there are some advantages in DUI Less Safe cases. The state of Georgia does not have the same presumption of impairment granted in a typical DUI Per Se case. They have to prove that the accused was not only under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but that they were under the influence to the extent that it made it less safe for them to operate a motor vehicle.
This is why hiring a top-rated Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer is so essential. We will challenge any evidence used against you in your case. To wrap up the most common misconception about DUIs in Georgia - Yes. The state of Georgia can charge and convict you of DUI even if you are under the legal limit of 0.08. A jury will consider any and all evidence that shows impairment. Your best defense begins with us - we will craft the best defense to show that you were not impaired. Call us today.