DUI Less Safe in Georgia
30 Day Warning
If you have been charged with DUI in Georgia, you only have 30 days to request an ALS hearing or to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. If you do not request a hearing or have the device installed within those 30 days, then your drivers license will be automatically suspended for up to one year! Call a Georgia DUI today to help you which option is best for your case and to help you accomplish this before the 30 days are up.
Georgia DUI laws are confusing and complex to many people, even to some lawyers who do not regularly practice DUI law. One of the largest misconceptions is that a person cannot be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than .08 grams. Georgia's legal limit is .08 so people wrongfully assume that they cannot be convicted if they are under the limit. Georgia has a “DUI Less Safe” statute that allows for drivers to be convicted even if their blood alcohol content is less than .08 grams. Another common reason for this charge arises when the driver refuses to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.
What is the DUI Less Safe Statute?
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.”
"Less safe" means that the driver is less safe to drive as a result of consuming alcohol before or while driving in comparison to not having ingested any drugs or alcohol.
A less safe DUI can be proven in three ways:
- Direct evidence of erratic driving, like an accident or weaving,
- Circumstantial evidence of less safe driving inferred from standardized field sobriety tests,
- Circumstantial evidence of a driver's appearance and/or demeanor, i.e., odor of alcohol, unsteadiness, staggering, stumbling or slurred speech.
DUI Less Safe Drugs in Georgia
DUI less safe also applies to drug use. Similarly to alcohol, the State must demonstrate that the drug made the driver less safe. It does not matter whether the drug was an over the counter drug, prescription drug, or illegal drug. It could even result from mixing alcohol with drugs.
One thing to note is that if charged with DUI for prescription drugs, it is not a defense that the driver had a prescription. Even if they took it according to the directions, that is not a defense.
If You Have Been Charged with DUI Less Safe, Contact Our Offices Today
A charge is not the same as a conviction and DUI less safe has the same punishments as any DUI charge. These are significant penalties and you should not just plead guilty because you do not know what to do. Our Georgia DUI Attorneys will walk you through every step and make sure you understand exactly what is going on with your case. We will be available to you 24/7. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.