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Can you face DUI charges if your BAC is under the legal limit?

People in Gwinnett County may already know that if they are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, and a breath test reveals their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent, this constitutes drunk driving. In Georgia, this is known as DUI per se. However, did you know you could still be charged with a drunk driving offense, even if your BAC is below 0.08 percent?

In Georgia, in addition to DUI per se laws, there is a more general DUI under the influence law. Under this law, if the Georgia District Attorney is able to show that a driver ingested alcohol or drugs, and therefore was unable to safely operate their motor vehicle, the driver could be charged with DUI "under the influence." This can take place even if a driver's BAC is below 0.08 percent. In general, the accused's driving behaviors at the time of the arrest or the driver's failure of field sobriety tests are used as grounds for proving DUI under the influence.

If a person in Georgia is charged with DUI per se or DUI under the influence, he or she may have his or her driver's license suspended, which is handled by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. He or she may also incur fines, face jail time and be ordered to do community service, all of which would be handled by the Georgia criminal court system.

As this shows, a person in Georgia can still face DUI charges, even if his or her BAC was under 0.08 percent. The penalties associated with DUI charges can significantly impact a person's life. Therefore, those facing DUI charges should make sure they develop a solid defense strategy. An attorney can help in this endeavor.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia DUI Laws," Accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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