There are two general justifications for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. The first is when someone displays obvious chemical impairment at the wheel, possibly resulting in a crash. The second is when someone violates the per se limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Per se laws make it a crime to have a certain amount of alcohol in your bloodstream even if that much alcohol has no effect on your driving ability. Depending on the kind of driver’s license that you have, there are three different per se limits that may apply. Lower limits statistically reduce drunk driving crashes, so certain drivers are subject to stricter alcohol rules than others.
Understanding those limits can help protect your driving privileges and avoid criminal charges.
How much can you drink before it becomes a crime to drive?
Your age and the kind of vehicle that you typically drive will directly impact how much alcohol you can consume and still legally get behind the wheel. For the average adult driver at the wheel of their own vehicle, the per se limit for their BAC is 0.08%.
For someone in control of a commercial vehicle, the limit is twice as strict. A driver at the wheel of a commercial truck or a bus could face a per se DUI offense over a BAC of just 0.4%. They may also lose their commercial license for a standard DUI in their personal vehicle just like they could lose their commercial license for an infraction while on the job.
For drivers who are under the age of 21 and therefore cannot legally drink, there is a zero-tolerance policy. A BAC of just 0.02% is enough to trigger DUI charges and license penalties for underage drivers.
There are defense strategies possible
Just because a police officer claims you failed a chemical test does not mean that conviction is inevitable. You may be able to defend yourself by challenging the accuracy of the breath test or the officer’s justification for pulling you over in the first place.
Looking at the evidence against you can be a good starting point when you want to fight back again what you feel are unfair DUI charges in Georgia.