Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is inherently dangerous, which is why Georgia DUI laws are strictly enforced. In fact, a person can be arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration of less than the legal limit (0.08 grams) under the “DUI Less Safe” law. This is just as serious as a DUI charge, and “less safe” is the standard of evidence prosecutors often use to gain DUI convictions. The best way to defend a DUI Less Safe Charge is by working with an experienced DUI attorney.
Located in Suwanee, Carter Pilgrim routinely handles DUI Less Safe and other DUI cases throughout Metro Atlanta, including Forsyth, Gwinnett and other surrounding counties. Well-versed in the applicable DUI statutes, we work tirelessly to defend our clients. Our legal team has a proven history of successfully trying DUI Less Safe cases. When your driving privileges are on the line, you need the aggressive legal representation only an experienced DUI attorney can provide. The sooner you call us, the better your chances will be of keeping your driving record clean, and your reputation intact.
What is DUI Less Safe?
Under Georgia Law, it is unlawful for a person to drive, or be in “actual physical control” of, a moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.
Generally, this means that a driver can be stopped by law enforcement officers based on their observations of his or her driving behavior — weaving, speeding, running red lights, failing to signal, or disobeying other Georgia traffic laws. After the police have pulled a driver over for suspicion of DUI, they will also look for physical indicators of intoxication which may include slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath.
If a law enforcement officer suspects a person is intoxicated, the officer will ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and perform one or more field sobriety tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test
- Walk And Turn Test
- One Leg Stand
Given that these tests are stacked against drivers, the police will likely make an arrest, in which case the officer is required to read you an Implied Consent Notice to request a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. If you refuse to take the test, you will typically be charged with DUI Less Safe, and your refusal will be presented as evidence at trial. In addition, you will have to surrender your license on the spot and will be given a 45-day permit in exchange.
DUI Less Safe Drugs in Georgia
Georgia law also prohibits driving under the influence of any drug to the extent that it impairs your judgment. Any amount of a controlled substance, including marijuana and prescription drugs, in a driver’s blood system, can lead to an arrest for DUI Less Safe. Prosecutors must be able to prove that you were less safe as a result of having the drug in your system, however. It is worth noting that many DUI Less Safe cases in Georgia involve a combination of a drug and alcohol.
30 Day Warning in DUI Less Safe Cases
If you have been charged with DUI Less Safe in Georgia, you have 30 days to request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing or to request to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. If you fail to do so, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year. It is crucial to contact Carter Pilgrim as soon as possible to represent you before the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). We will work to appeal your license suspension and have your permission to drive extended at least until the date of your hearing.
What Is The Penalty For A DUI Less Safe?
The penalties for DUI Less Safe in Georgia are the same as for a DUI conviction. A first DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense which can lead to penalties that include a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to a year. Other penalties may include community service, attending a DUI program, and having a clinical evaluation. In addition, a DUI conviction will lead to a driver’s license suspension for up to one year, which will interfere with your daily routine — getting to work, taking the kids to school, running errands, or just taking a drive.
Contact Our Metro Atlanta DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI Less Safe in Atlanta, you may be concerned about losing your driver’s license, paying heavy fines, or possibly going to jail. The DUI defense attorneys at Carter Pilgrim can address these concerns by providing you with first-rate legal representation. We will take the time to explain all of your rights, explore all your options and choose the best line of defense. Depending on the circumstances, we will work to win an acquittal or seek to have the charges reduced. Remember, you only have 30 days to protect your driving privileges. Please contact our office today to speak with our attorneys.