If You’ve Been Arrested for DUI in Georgia, Don’t Delay
Before we discuss the differences of DUI Less Safe vs. DUI Per Se, we need to cover some time-sensitive information. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Georgia, you have only 30 days from the date of your arrest to submit an appeal letter (the “30 day letter”) to stop your license from being automatically suspended and to request a hearing. This hearing is different from the criminal hearing you will have to attend due to your arrest. The 30-day letter, along with a $150 fee, is to be submitted to the Department of Driver Services (DDS).
We recommend consulting with a DUI attorney before making this decision and moving forward. However, time is absolutely of the essence. If you do not act within 30 days your drivers license could automatically be suspended for up to a year.
What is DUI Less Safe in Georgia?
Now we will compare DUI Less Safe vs. DUI Per Se, starting with Less Safe. 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.” This means that the person is driving less safe due to the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol before or while driving, in comparison to how he or she would drive when they had not ingested any drugs or alcohol. This crime can be charged even when no test results (blood, breath, or urine) are collected after your arrest.
Less safe DUIs can be proven in three main ways:
- Direct evidence of erratic driving or an accident
- Circumstantial evidence of less safe driving from a field sobriety test
- Circumstantial evidence of a driver’s demeanor, such as smelling of alcohol, staggering, stumbling, and/or slurred speech
What is DUI Per Se in Georgia?
DUI Per Se, as opposed to DUI Less Safe, is when someone has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher when driving a vehicle or shortly after. Per Se means “by or in itself.” O.C.G.A §40-6-391(a)(5) states, A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while the person’s alcohol concentration is .08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended.
Additionally, for truck drivers and bus drivers, the BAC limit is .04. For those under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02.
While this type of charge may seem cut and dry, there are different defenses for DUI Per Se that your attorney can argue depending on the situation. Hiring the right DUI Attorney can make all the difference for your case.
You Have Options. Call Us Today.
When it comes to being arrested for a DUI in Georgia, no matter what you were charged with, timing is everything. Do not make the mistake of thinking you do not have any options. Contact Hall & Navarro and we can help you with your case.