A "Per Se" DUI charge refers to a driver whose blood alcohol content (BAC) has been measured and has been found to be greater than an established limit. Some may think that this is the definition for all DUI charges, but this is not the case. The "Less Safe" DUI charge refers to when a driver has consumed any amount of alcohol or drugs and, as a result, is a less safe driver.
For most drivers in Georgia (and all other states in the US) over the age of 21, the BAC limit is .08 grams or above. For drivers under the age of 21, the BAC limit is .02. For drivers who operate with a CDL (Commercial Driver's License), the limit is .04 nationwide, as set by the Federal Commercial Motor Vehicles Safety Act. Law enforcement officials use chemical tests on blood, breath or urine to establish an individual's BAC. Breath, tested via a breathalyzer machine, is the most commonly measured metric for alcohol consumption at vehicle stops.
In Atlanta, before they administer any type of chemical test, police officers must inform you of implied consent. This means a law enforcement office must explain that under Georgia law, all drivers give implied consent to any chemical test if they are placed under arrest on suspicion for driving under the influence. Additionally, if you refuse these tests, this refusal will result in the loss of driving privileges and may be used against you at a criminal hearing.
If you have been subject to a chemical test and your blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit, you will be charged with a Per Se DUI. It is important to remember that just because a charge of Per Se DUI has been brought, this does not mean the evidence is sufficient to find a person guilty of DUI. For example, a breathalyzer machine must be regularly maintained and calibrated. If it can be proven that the machine used to take a BAC sample did not meet the standards for maintenance, the results can be subject to challenge. There are various medical conditions which could affect a breathalyzer reading, which is also a grounds on which to challenge results.
If you or a loved one are facing charges for Per Se DUI, please call me. We will discuss the details of your case and determine a plan for moving forward to secure the best possible outcome.