How can the officer arrest me if my BAC is under the legal limit?
Many people mistakenly believe they can always drink and drive as long as their blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .08%. But Georgia actually has no “legal limit” that drivers can stay below and automatically avoid a DUI. Typically, if breathalyzer test results are above a certain limit, the driver is presumed to be driving while impaired. This limit is called the DUI “per se” limit.
What is a DUI Per Se limit?
In Georgia, you are Per Se impaired if your blood or breath test shows a result of .08 grams or more. This means that you are legally impaired even if you do not feel or drive like you are impaired. If your BAC is more than .05 but less than .08 grams, there is no inference of impairment. This means the judge or the jury are free to consider whether you were actually a Less Safe driver. In Georgia, a BAC of even less than .04 can get you into court fighting for your freedom. In a scenario where the BAC was less than a .04, Georgia law presumes that you were NOT impaired. The State can try to overcome this inference through other evidence in a trial. A different BAC applies in cases where the driver is under 21 years old. In that situation, an under 21 DUI per se limit is .02 grams.
What is DUI Less Safe?
There is, however, a less common accusation that can land a driver with a DUI – a DUI “less safe” limit. This limit refers to having an untested BAC or a BAC between .05% and .08%. DUI “less safe” alleges that the person is operating a vehicle in a manner that is not safe, even though his or her blood alcohol content is less than .08%. The State, in this situation, still has to prove impairment- meaning the prosecutor must still prove you were a less safe driver because of the alcohol.
Do I need an attorney if my BAC was below .08%?
Yes, you need an attorney any time you are charged with a DUI! Just because you were below the legal limit does not mean that you can't be prosecuted. DUI cases are one of the most common cases in the criminal courts in Georgia. A DUI conviction can result in a suspended license, jail time, fines, probation, and a criminal record. Call Brian Cathey Law today at 706-363-0821 if you or a loved one was arrested for DUI no matter your BAC.