Atlanta DUI Lawyer Discusses: Types of DUI Charges in Georgia
The term “driving under the influence” usually conjures up images of someone having a few drinks before getting behind the wheel. However, the term also refers to a person who is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs. In Georgia, a law enforcement officer can punish someone whose ability to safely drive appears to have been impaired by drugs or alcohol. There are several types of charges that an officer can issue. Furthermore, charges are often more severe with multiple offenses. Regardless of whether a person is facing a charge for drug or alcohol use, the charge will probably be classified as a misdemeanor. Under Georgia state law, the charge of a misdemeanor can carry a maximum prison time of 12 months and up to a $1,000 fine.
DUI for Alcohol – Per Se
The state law in Georgia says that it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level higher than the permissible legal level. The driver does not need to show visible signs of impairment to be convicted. The state only needs to prove two elements in this case. The first is that the driver had a blood alcohol level of a certain level within three hours of driving the car. That limit is 0.08 grams for a regular driver, 0.04 grams for a commercial driver, and 0.02 grams for anyone under the age of 21. The second is that the BAC was elevated before getting behind the wheel of the vehicle. A DUI under this charge applies to alcohol.
DUI- Combining Two or More Drugs
Another type of DUI charge you can get in Georgia is if you are found to be operating a regular or commercial vehicle under the influence of any drug along with alcohol. The word “drug” means any controlled substance, glue, or aerosol.
DUI – Glue, Aerosols, or Toxic Vapors
In Georgia, you can get a DUI for driving under the influence of inhalants such as aerosols, glue, or toxic fumes. This type of DUI is one of the least common that an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer commonly sees.
DUI – Marijuana or Controlled Substance
Like alcohol, a driver can face a penalty for driving with marijuana or other drug levels in his or her bloodstream that are higher than the legal limit. Georgia’s state law (the Controlled Substances Act) is strict in this penalty, and it asserts that a driver is not allowed to drive or physically control a vehicle with any amount of marijuana or other controlled substance in his or her system.
DUI – Driving “Less Safe”
This type of DUI offense is a less common offense in Georgia. A charge of less safe driving does not require a physical blood alcohol content test. Instead, the driver can be charged with this type of DUI if the officer making the arrest believes that he or she is a “less safe” driver on the road from the influence of alcohol in his or her system. This type of DUI is typically issued if the driver refuses to do a blood, breath, or urine test. However, state law allows that a DUI charge for less safe driving can also be issued if the driver has a chemical testing for alcohol and the BAC is less than the legal limit of 0.08 grams. However, the officer must prove that the driver was impaired beyond reasonable doubt. This judgment often causes discrepancy, which is why you should contact a good Atlanta DUI defense lawyer if you find yourself facing this type of DUI.
The Consequences of a DUI
When you get a DUI for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the consequences can be devastating. Your reputation, reliability, and possibly even employment may be affected by this serious charge. Furthermore, unlike other types of driving offenses, a DUI conviction is a permanent charge that doesn’t get erased from your license. The type of DUI penalty that you receive depends on several factors, including your age, the type of license you have, and if you’ve already had a DUI conviction. Penalties you might face include fines, court fees, DUI and safe driving classes, a revoked or suspended license, and possible incarceration. Your car insurance rates might increase as well.