Impaired driving is one of the more common criminal offenses that people are charged with. Georgia DUI laws can be especially severe and can have serious consequences for anyone who is found violating those laws. In the event that you have been charged with a DUI, it is vital that you get in contact with a determined DUI lawyer that can work with you to build your defense. Speak with an adept attorney that can devote the time and resources necessary to build your case.
Impaired Driving Statutes
All states have criminal statutes proscribing impaired driving (drinking and driving to excess), even if police never obtain a BAC level number of a specific quantity of alcohol in the person’s system. So, not agreeing to the blood test or breath test will not necessarily mean that a person will walk away from a drunken driving charge.
Their bad driving actions (e.g., causing an accident, weaving across all lanes of traffic, or following too closely), their symptoms or manifestations of being too drunk to drive (e.g., slurred speech, unsteadiness on their feet, incoherent acts or words or both can lead to a DUI arrest. They can lose a DUI trial on the testimony of an officer alone describing drunken behavior, and no breath, blood or urine test will ever be mentioned. Usually, the reason is their failure to exercise their constitutional rights and, self-incrimination.
If a person volunteers to take a field sobriety tests, a case can easily be made against a person who drove drunk. This type of DUI law is needed to be able to prosecute those who refuse to take a breathalyzer, or a blood test or a urine test at the request of a law enforcement officer who has arrested them. Also, a skilled DUI lawyer may be able to have a BAC test number excluded from the prosecution’s case at trial, leaving only impaired driving, and not DUI per se.
CDL DUI Laws
Commercial truck drivers operating a big rig are mandated under federal interstate driving laws to have no alcohol on their breath at all, but that (if tested on a breathalyzer or blood tests) a lower standard of 0.04 grams percent would be applied to CDL drivers. A CDL endorsement is an overlay of a regular driver’s license. So, this same driver’s license will be used by the commercial trucker when they are not in their big rig truck or school bus. Additionally, federal law mandates that any passenger van that accommodates 16 or more passengers must be driven by a CDL-licensed driver.
Underage DUI Laws
Legislators have pushed for underage drivers to have a zero tolerance once the federal government sought to force states to go to a zero tolerance or lose federal highway funding.
Many states now utilize a 0.00 BAC level as being their zero tolerance law, but others use 0.01 or 0.02 as the standard, because breath testing devices are not nearly as precise as blood testing instruments, and so state lawmakers permitted some machine variance to be built in for protection of the drinking drivers under age 21.
The official reason given at government websites and published reports was that some states use a .02 BAC standard to account for the alcohol that is in some permitted forms of cough syrup. But even if someone used Nyquil containing alcohol, Georgia DUI laws still say that individuals cannot get a pass if their BAC is above 0.00-o.o2.
In a nutshell, if someone’s first DUI-DWI arrest occurs, and they have not been declared a habitual offender for bad prior driving acts like attempting to elude, hit and run, or other serious driving offenses (even when no DUI offenses have occurred), no underage children are in their car, and no accident has occurred that caused a death or bodily injury of any type, they are almost always assured of this being a misdemeanor drunk driving offense.
On the flip side of this coin, if a person has had any prior DUI-DWI arrests or convictions, fully disclose this to their DUI lawyer. A person should not risk walking into court for their arraignment and being blindsided by a prosecutor holding documents showing prior convictions in another state or states, or possibly under a different or prior name.
National Driver Registry
Each state has different rules and the person should check with a Georgia lawyer in the state in which the person is licensed to see how the charge, and how Georgia DUI laws in general, affect them. Georgia cannot grant a work permit for somebody who has an out-of-state license.
The National Driver Registry (NDR) is set up under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NDR maintains a database containing information on people whose driving privileges have been revoked, suspended, canceled, or denied. Information can be obtained from the nhtsa.gov website.
When a person is convicted of a DUI in another state, it is reported to Georgia where the offense is treated as if the person is convicted in Georgia for license suspension purposes. For a lesser offense such as driving while impaired committed in another state, Georgia would import it as a DUI.
Out-of-state drivers must observe Georgia DUI laws while they are driving through the state. An out-of-state driver can still face consequences for their Georgia DUI. While Georgia cannot suspend a person’s out-of-state license, they can suspend the person’s privileges to drive in Georgia. When someone is convicted of a DUI in Georgia, the state sends off the violation to the other state. That state might suspend the person’s driver’s license, but every state is different.
A local attorney helps an out-of-state driver facing a DUI charge in Atlanta in the same way they would defend a local resident. The attorney researches the consequences in the person’s home state to identify what needs to be done in Georgia to obtain the best result possible for the client. The local attorney might connect the person with a lawyer from out-of-state.
Consulting a Georgia DUI Attorney
Whether you are a Georgia driver or an out-of-state driver, you still must follow Georgia DUI laws. These statutes exist to protect you and other drivers on the road, which is why violations of the law can have such serious consequences. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a skilled DUI attorney that can use their knowledge of the local courts and legislation, when building your case. Consult a Georgia DUI attorney and know that you are in capable hands.