In almost every state in the United States, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) threshold for a DUI is .08. This means that, in order to be arrested for DUI, you have to blow a .08 or higher on your breathalyzer test. The BAC is just a measure of what percentage of your blood is alcohol at any given time. So a BAC of .08 means that your blood is carrying about 8% alcohol as opposed to any other chemical. But this doesn’t mean you can’t be arrested for DUI at a lower level. For example, if you’re under 21, any percentage of alcohol in your blood can get you arrested. The same is true for people with their commercial driver’s license (CDL). If they blow at just half the legal limit, they can be arrested and charged with DUI. On top of this, the cops can arrest you if you appear to be intoxicated. This can be as a result of a field sobriety test or just the way you look to the cops. It will be up to the prosecutor to actually prove that you were drunk at the time of your arrest.
There has been a lot of debate lately about whether the state should lower the BAC threshold for DUI. Many other countries have lowered the BAC levels to just .05%. Some states are considering doing the same thing. This is all in an effort to increase public safety. It is also thought that, if the BAC is lower, people will be afraid to drive after having any drinks. And that is, after all, the goal of the law. They want to deter people from driving after using any amount of alcohol. While the BAC is still .08 in Georgia, that could change at any time. If you have questions about the BAC levels or feel that you were unfairly charged after blowing less than a .08, you need to call our office. An experienced DUI lawyer in Athens can help poke holes in the state’s case. They can also fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Why Would They Want to Reduce the BAC Level for DUI?
There are all sorts of reasons why the state may want to lower the BAC for DUI to .05. First, it would allow them to get people off the road if they pose a risk to public safety. It would also make it easier for them to prove you were under the influence in court. It may sound terrible, but the courts and the states make a lot of money on fines and court fees DUI defendants pay. They also want to make sure that, if you are a habitual drunk driver, they have the power to get you off the roads. For now, it doesn’t appear that the Georgia Legislature is ready to change the DUI levels yet. However, it would not surprise any DUI lawyer to see it happen in the next few years.
Call and Talk to a DUI Defense Lawyer in Athens, Georgia Right Away
Once you’re arrested for DUI in Athens, Georgia, you will be facing your first court appearance. This usually happens within a day or so of being arrested. This is when the judge reads the charges that have been filed against you. They also ask whether you intend to plead guilty or innocent. It’s really important that your DUI defense lawyer in Georgia has enough time to review your case before this hearing. They need to see what your BAC levels were. They also need to watch the tape of your field sobriety test. If they don’t know what evidence the state has against you, they can’t advise you of your best options. For example, if you blew a .12, it is going to be almost impossible to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Unless your DUI lawyer can show a huge violation by the police, the evidence will be used against you and easily prove that you were driving under the influence.
This is why you need to call a skilled Georgia DUI lawyer within hours of your arrest if possible. They can help make sure you are granted bail so you aren’t sitting in jail any longer than absolutely necessary. They can also talk to the prosecutor and try to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Call today and schedule your initial consultation with one of our skilled DUI lawyers. They have decades of combined experience handling cases just like yours.