Question: I was driving from a friend's house in Dunwoody to my house in Alpharetta. We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant in Dunwoody near the Perimeter Mall. I had a couple of glasses of wine with my food. I drank some coffee and had dessert. On my way home I had a very small fender bender in Alpharetta. The cop asked if I had anything to drink. I said I had a glass of wine. Anyway he arrested me for DUI and took me to the Alpharetta jail. I took a breath test and I got a .072. Since I'm under the limit why did he charge me with DUI? Is it really DUI if I have a low breath test?
Answer: Georgia law provides that a driver can be charged with DUI if they are less safe because they have ingested alcohol or drugs. In Georgia, per se DUI is a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater. A BAC level under .08 can be charged as DUI less safe. It appears that the Alpharetta police officer thought you were a less safe driver because you admitted to drinking and you were involved in a car accident, however minor. You do not mention how you performed on the field sobriety tests, nor do you note whether you took the Alco-Sensor test on the street. The punishments for DUI per se and DUI less safe are similar.
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