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UGA student charged with underage DUI, failing to dim lights

The Red and Black reported last week that a University of Georgia student was charged with four different offenses after he was initially pulled over for failing to turn his bright lights off while driving. After conducting the traffic stop, police arrested the student for drunk driving, underage possession or consumption of alcohol, failing to have his license on his person while operating a vehicle, and failing to dim his headlights.

According to reports, the arrest occurred on June 15. An Athens-Clarke County police officer had spotted the vehicle with its bright lights still on. The officer reported that he had indicated to the driver that his bright lights were on and that the headlights should be dimmed. But when the driver failed to dim his lights, the officer conducted a traffic stop.

When the officer began speaking with the driver, who is a UGA student, the officer noted that the driver appeared to be nervous and that he could detect the odor of alcohol. The student told the officer that he was nervous because he had never been pulled over while driving and that he had only drank one glass of wine several hours before driving. After questioning the student, the officer proceeded to ask the student to take a field sobriety test.

The student agreed to take a field sobriety test and an alco-sensor test. According to reports, the officer informed the student that the portable breath test is not always accurate. But when the results revealed a blood alcohol reading of 0.158, the student allegedly told the officer that he had actually drank more than two alcoholic beverages before driving. The officer then arrested the student.

Another test was administered after the student was arrested. The second test revealed a reading of 0.198. In Georgia, the legal limit is 0.08. Because the student was underage, he was placed in jail. Typically, drivers who are arrested in Georgia for drunk driving under the age of 21 are required to spend at least one day in jail if their blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher. The student could also face a one-year license suspension as a result of the charges.

Source: The Red and Black, "Student charged with DUI, underage possession or consumption of alcohol, no license on person and failure to dim headlights," Julia Carpenter, June 20, 2012