Under Georgia DUI law, there are five ways a driver can be driving under the influence to the extent that it is illegal to be operating your vehicle. The five ways are to be driving (1) under the influence of alcohol to the extent you are a less safe driver, (2) under the influence of any drug to the extent you are a less safe driver, (3) under the intentional influence of any glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor to the extent you are a less safe driver, (4) under the combined influence of one or more of the above substances, and (5) with an alcohol concentration of .08 grams or more (DUI per se) within three hours of driving a vehicle in Georgia.
The most common Georgia DUI charges are (1) and (5), under the influence of alcohol to the extent it is less safe for you to drive, and having an alcohol concentration of .08 grams of more in your system within three hours of driving. With these two charges, the arresting officer in Georgia must form probable cause that alcohol is present in your person, and that you were in actual control of a vehicle. To support the .08, “per se” DUI charge, an officer must have a Georgia implied consent chemical test. This chemical test must either be done on the Intoxilyzer 5000 if it’s a breath test, or with an approved blood and urine collection kit, if the officer requests one of these substances.
Georgia chemical tests are based on scientific principles and concepts, and must therefore strictly adhere to guidelines to stand a chance at being accurate. Even when a test is done in the prescribed manner, the tests are still far from perfect. For example, the Georgia legislature has passed a law that allows a Georgia breath tests performed on the Intoxilyzer 5000 to be within approximately 25% of each other to be admissible. Therefore, if you blow a .08 on your first sample, the second sample can come back at a .10, or a .06, and still be considered a valid test in Georgia. Needless to say, most drivers under arrest in Georgia for DUI would prefer the .06 result, but who knows what it may be? Georgia’s legislature doesn’t require the tests to be any more accurate than this.
In all DUI arrests made in Georgia, the arresting officer must gather evidence of your intoxication and must form an opinion that you are a less safe driver due to your intoxication. In other words, that you are driving while impaired, rather than after simply having consumed alcohol, drugs, or inhalants. It is not illegal to consume alcohol, or legally prescribed drugs in the state of Georgia and then drive, although this is a common misconception.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia, you will need a skilled and experienced DUI attorney on your side to attack the state’s case, and their ‘scientific’ evidence that you were driving under the influence.