What is the legal limit in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 14, 2022 | 0 Comments

Clients are usually shocked to learn that in Georgia, like most states, we do not have a “legal limit” insofar as blood alcohol level is concerned.  The police can charge a person with DUI even though their B.A.C. is below .08. We receive calls all the time from people that want to know how many drinks it takes to reach a BAC of .08%. However, this is not an easy answer. Everyone's body reacts differently to alcohol and there are many factors that impact when a person reaches a BAC of .08%. Some of these factors include:

  • Weight of the person
  • How long they have been drinking
  • How much food they have been eating while drinking
  • Their alcohol tolerance
  • Whether they are on any medications
  • Medical history

There are BAC online estimators out there, however, we urge you to exercise caution while using them because they are not completely accurate. Our best advice is to abstain from drinking any alcohol if you are going to drive to avoid a DUI charge. 

As stated previously, some people are shocked that they could be charged even though they blew under the limit. Below are some examples of how a person can be accused of a DUI while being below the so-called legal limit.  

DUI Less Safe:

The police can charge a person with a DUI when, due to the consumption of alcohol or drugs, they are unsafe to drive.  Technically, the driver must be not as safe as they would have been had they not consumed intoxicates.  

DUI Drugs:

When a person has consumed illegal drugs to the extent that makes them unsafe to drive, they can be charged with a DUI.  In fact, a person can be charged without consuming any alcohol whatsoever.  

DUI Prescription Drugs:

It is unlawful to be under the influence of medication, even taken as prescribed.  The existence of a valid prescription is not a defense to a DUI Prescription Drugs Case in Georgia.  However, having a valid prescription can persuade a prosecutor into leniency. 

DUI Drivers Under the Age of 21:

Drivers under the age of 21 cannot legally consume alcoholic beverages.  As a result, the “legal limit” for underage drivers is only .02 (the margin of error on a breath test).  Technically, Georgia has a zero tolerance position insofar as underage drinking and driving.  Some say there is a legal limit in Georgia for underage drivers, but technically underage drivers are not allowed to drink at all.    

DUI CDL Holders:

Commercial drivers may not have an alcohol concentration of .04 within three hours of driving (from alcohol consumed before or during driving).  However, if a CDL driver is operating a personal vehicle, ordinary DUI laws then apply.

Play it Safe:

You cannot rely on a breath testing machine at a bar or a handheld unit you may own.  A person can be charged with a DUI with a B.A.C. under .08.  Do not drive after consuming alcohol, and you will not have to worry about the legal limit in Georgia

Contact Us Today

Whether you were charged with DUI per se because you blew over .08% or you received a DUI less safe, our team of Georgia DUI Lawyers are here to help. We have been defending Georgia drivers charged with DUI for over 25 years and are ready to assist you today. Call now for a free case evaluation. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!