Types of DUI Charges in Georgia
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense in Georgia and has significant consequences for those convicted. In Georgia, there are multiple ways a person can be charged with DUI. Each type requires specific elements and carries a different sentence if convicted. No matter what you have been charged with, our Hall County DUI Lawyers are ready to take your call. With over 50 combined years of experience, we are skilled in crafting successful defenses and protecting your rights, freedom, and future. Call now for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
DUI Per Se
DUI per se is the charge most people associate with DUI charges. A DUI per se charge means that a driver's BAC was above the legal limit, and therefore, the driver should be found guilty of DIU even if the prosecution is unable to show that the driver's ability to operate the vehicle was impaired. Georgia law outlines that it is illegal for any person to operate a motor vehicle while the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) more than the legal limit. For drivers 21 and older, the limit is .08. Drivers under 21 years have a much lower threshold of .02, and CDL drivers have a limit of .04. To be specific, the prosecution is only required to show that the driver's BAC was above the legal limit within three hours of being in physical control of the moving vehicle.
DUI Less Safe
A person can be charged with DUI less safe even if their BAC was less than the legal limit. Instead of going by the limit, a person can be arrested if an officer believes that the driver is a less safe driver due to alcohol consumption. DUI less safe is a more subjective charge than DUI per se and thus is tried more often. The prosecution has the burden of proving the extent of the driver's impairment beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution generally relies on evidence such as the driver's behavior, an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, or other manifestations of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
DUI Less Safe Drugs
DUI less safe for drugs means that a driver was under the influence of a drug to the extent that it was less safe for them to drive. Drugs include both prescription drugs and illegal drugs. A person convicted of DUI drugs will be unable to get a permit to drive and will suffer a hard suspension of their license. DUI drug charges can be difficult to understand. That is why it is critical to hire a Gainesville DUI Attorney if you are facing these charges.
DUI for Glue, Aerosols, or Toxic Vapors
A person can be charged with DUI while under the influence of glue, aerosols, or toxic vapors. This type is not as common but still comes with severe consequences. Similarly to DUI drugs, a conviction will include a hard suspension of their driver's license.
DUI for Marijuana or a Controlled Substance
Even though there is a statute for DUI drugs, Georgia has a separate law when the drug is marijuana or another controlled substance. The prosecution has the burden of proving that the marijuana or controlled substance caused you to be an unsafe driver.
DUI for a Combination of Two or More Drugs
A driver can be charged with DUI when they are under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol. The drug could be marijuana, a controlled substance, glue, toxic vapors, aerosols, or a prescription drug. Even if the driver's BAC is under .08, evidence of drugs in their system will be sufficient for a Hall County DUI charge.
DUI cases are highly complicated, and many people are unaware of the nuances of DUI law. For example, we have represented multiple clients who were unaware that you could be charged with DUI without having any alcohol or engaging in illegal drugs. If you are on prescription drugs that can affect your ability to drive, an officer can arrest you for prescription drug DUI. These penalties are the same as a conviction for DUI alcohol.
Prescription Drug DUI
A prescription drug DUI can include over the counter medications, allergy medications, and other legal prescriptions. Many of our clients are under the false assumption that just because they have taken a legitimate prescription, it is okay to drive while taking it. Several medications can cause drowsiness that can cause them to drive impaired. As soon as your driving becomes impaired, the act comes illegal. Drugs that can affect your driving include prescription painkillers, muscle relaxers, cough syrup, anxiety medications, and nighttime cold or flu medicine.
Even if you have a valid prescription for the drug, this will not be a sufficient defense if you are found to have been a less safe driver due to the consumption of medication. Our DUI Attorneys in Gainesville understand how to properly defend against a prescription drug DUI charge. Call now and discover how we can assist with your case.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI alcohol or DUI drugs, contact The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson. You need an experienced Gainesville DUI Lawyer when facing DUI charges to protect you. The penalties are harsh and there are always Hall County DUI defenses we can use to defend your case. Call today to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys.