According to reports out of DeKalb County, the Assistant Police Chief of the Clarkston Police Department has officially resigned this past week.
Thadius Brown resigned after being arrested for driving under the influence in Henry County. He has worked for the Clarkston Police Department for over ten years. He has pulled over for allegedly turning right on a red light where such a turn was prohibited. He was then investigated and arrested for DUI Less Safe in Georgia.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I want to make it very clear (as exhibited by the story above) that anyone (and I mean anyone) can be arrested for DUI in Georgia. No one is exempt from the law, and Georgia DUI Laws are strict.
In today's post, I will outline the law behind DUI Less Safe in the state of Georgia so as to provide a clear understanding of the criminal offense.
DUI Less Safe in Georgia
The most important thing to understand is that Georgia does not have less serious DUI offenses that actually exist in most other states. Georgia doesn't have OWI or Wet Reckless or DWI in Georgia. DUI Less Safe is every bit as serious as any other DUI offense in Georgia.
"Less Safe" refers only to the manner in which a case is proved against the accused DUI Driver in Georgia. "Less Safe" is the standard of evidence used to prove the DUI.
DUI Less Safe is defined in the same statute in the Georgia Code as DUI in Georgia. O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(a)(1) states that 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.”
In order to prove that a defendant is guilty of DUI Less Safe, the State must be able to show that the person was under the influence of alcohol, but a chemical test result is not necessary in order to do so. An officer's observations during the DUI investigation can be used to support the determination that the driver was impaired by alcohol. During the investigation, the officer will be look for clues such as the admission of drinking, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, fumbling, repeating questions or comments, the odor of alcohol on the person's breath, and providing incorrect or inconsistent answers.
The fact that we do not have any less serious DUI offenses means that, yes, in fact, the consequences of a DUI Less Safe conviction are just as serious as a DUI conviction. The penalties are the same.
DUI Penalties for a first conviction can include:
- 12 months of probation
- A minimum fine of $300 plus court costs and surcharges
- Between 1 - 10 days in jail, which many times can be waived
- At least 40 hours of community service
- Substance abuse counseling
- Attendance of the DUI Risk Reduction School (commonly referred to as DUI School)
- Attendance of a Madd Mothers Victim Impact Panel
- Drivers License Suspension, with a limited permit to drive
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices now.