This past Labor Day weekend you may have had a few drinks at a party and then decided to drive home when you suddenly see red-and-blue lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. The police pull you over, ask you to perform a field sobriety test and then a Breathalyzer test. Your blood-alcohol concentration was below the legal limit of 0.08% but you were still charged with a crime. How could this be? The answer is that Georgia recognizes two separate drunk driving offenses: DUI and DUI “Per Se.”
DUI “Per Se”
A charge of DUI “Per Se” is what we generally think of when we think of a DUI. You can be charged with DUI “Per Se” if a breath or blood test shows the driver’s BAC is at or above 0.08%. In such situations, no further evidence is needed to show that you were under the influence.
A charge of DUI is different than DUI “Per Se.” A person can be charged with DUI if their BAC is below 0.08%, but they are still deemed too impaired to drive safely. Generally, impairment will be proven through field sobriety tests or through driving violations or both.
Drunk driving charges have serious consequences
Whether you are charged with DUI or DUI “Per Se” you can expect to face significant consequences. Your driver’s license may be suspended, you could face fines, you could be sentenced to jail time and you may have to perform community service. This post does not contain legal advice and it cannot promise any specific outcome in a drunk driving case. Therefore, if you were charged with DUI or DUI “Per Se” or this past Labor Day weekend, you may want to take the steps necessary to understand your legal rights and options so you can develop a solid defense strategy.