What is the legal limit in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 26, 2016 | 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.  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

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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