Many people are under the impression that you cannot be arrested and convicted of a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than .08 grams. This is incorrect. In Georgia, while the legal limit is .08, a person can be a DUI “less safe,” even if their BAC is below a .08.
In Georgia, there is no legal presumption of impairment if your BAC is between a .05 and a .08. If your BAC is below a .05, there is a rebuttable presumption that you are NOT impaired.
A DUI less safe is defined as “being under the influence of alcohol to the extent that you are less safe to drive.”
But what does it mean, legally, to be “DUI less safe to drive?” First, it means that you are less safe to drive than if you had not consumed alcohol or drugs. But, hey, that depends on the person’s tolerance, right? So, according to the Pattern Jury Charges that judges in Georgia read to jurors before deliberating, this is what “less safe” means:
A person is less safe to drive when that person is less efficient, less skillful, less coherent, less able, and less proficient to drive a car.
Notice that there is NOTHING that describes less safe as having your eyes jerk, or performing gymnastic floor exercises. There is nothing about bloodshot eyes, or slurred speech or the smell of alcohol. The definition also does not mention anything about alcohol or drug blood levels. The definition has to do with whether a person’s fine motor skills have been affected so much that they cannot effectively drive a car.
So the next time you are on a jury and are asked to decide if someone were DUI “less safe", remember that we are talking about driving ability here; is there evidence that the person was able, efficient, skilful or proficient WHILE driving the car? Or is there simply collateral evidence that may or may not have anything to do with actual driving skill?
Hiring a qualified, knowledgeable DUI attorney can make all the difference in winning your case. If you are arrested for DUI or other serious traffic matters, contact MrGaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.