When most people hear the term “DUI” they automatically assume that someone has been arrested for drinking and driving. This assumption is wrong though. In the state of Georgia, there are actually six different kinds of DUI classifications. The penalties for all six classifications are the same.
If you’ve been charged with any type of DUI in Georgia, the best thing to do is contact an experienced DUI defense attorney in Athens, Georgia.
DUI Alcohol-Related Charges
This is the most common type of DUI that is charged and the one that most people assume when they hear “DUI”. Per Georgia’s DUI-Per Se statute, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.
DUI-Per Se does not require any specific evidence of impairment and in order for the state to convict they only need to prove that:
- The driver of the vehicle had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher within 3 hours of operating the vehicle.
- That the driver’s blood-alcohol level was caused by the consumption of alcohol prior to driving.
This is a classification of DUI that is not quite as common. A DUI-Less safe does not require proof of blood alcohol content. Under the Georgia statute, an officer of the law can pull you over and arrest you because he believes that you are a less safe driver because of alcohol consumption.
Most DUI-Less safe charges occur when the driver refuses to submit to a test to check their blood alcohol content. This charge can also be used if the test was done and the blood alcohol level was under the legal limit, but the arresting officer must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was less safe.
DUI-Less safe charges are the most tried types of DUI cases in the state of Georgia.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being charged with a DUI, regardless of its classification, make sure that you reach out to an Athens DUI attorney to find out your options.
A person can be charged with a DUI if they are driving less safe due to being under the influence of any type of drug according to Georgia’s DUI-Drugs statute. This also includes medications that have been prescribed to the driver.
If the arresting officer believes that the driver is less safe due to being under the influence of drugs they can charge the driver with a DUI, however, the state must also be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver is less safe like in DUI-Less safe cases.
Georgia’s DUI-Inhalants statute clearly defines an inhalant as any aerosol, glue, or other type of toxic fume that makes driving less safe. If someone is pulled over, they can be charged with a DUI for inhalants.
In order for the state to get a conviction for DUI-Inhalants they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The driver had intentionally inhaled the toxic fumes, glue, or aerosol for the purposes of getting high.
- The driver was, indeed, a less safe driver due to the inhalation of those fumes.
Georgia’s DUI-Marijuana/Controlled Substances statute states that a DUI charge may be brought against a person if they have any amount of controlled substances or marijuana in their system while driving a vehicle.
This statute is divided into two charging categories, less safe and pro se.
If the person has a prescription and is legally entitled to have a controlled substance, then the state must prove that the influence in their system made them a less safe driver.
If the person does not have a prescription and should not have said controlled substance, then the state only has to prove the presence of it in their system at the time they were driving the vehicle.
A person can be charged with a DUI under the Georgia statute if they are found to have any combination of drugs, alcohol, or inhalants in their system. The state still has to prove that the existence in their system made it less safe for them to drive the vehicle.
Let A Professional Handle Your DUI in Georgia
A DUI charge, no matter the classification, can have a huge impact on a person’s life. You have a right if you are charged with a DUI to obtain legal counsel and should do so immediately.
It is often that proper procedures and protocols are not followed either in the field or during the collection of specimens. Hiring a DUI law firm in Athens, Georgia who has experience handling the very cases that you have just been charged for can mean the difference between high penalties or dismissal.