Question: My daughter got arrested for DUI in Gwinnett County. She was out with some friends. She lives with us and told us that she was doing a college project by helping some disabled homeless people learn how to do math.
But instead she later admitted that she was out drinking with some friends from Georgia Gwinnett College and Gwinnett Technical College. She said they went out for some drinks at a couple of bars in Duluth and Lawrenceville.
She was the designated driver. Unfortunately, she did have a little to drink. She was stopped by a Gwinnett County police officer for speeding and failure to maintain lane. She said she cooperated with the officer.
She took a breath test at the jail and she only blew a .05. So she couldn't have been that drunk. I know that means she did not have a huge buzz.
She is 19 years old and she wants to become a psychologist or social worker and help people from poor environments. Do you think she will get a DUI even if she wasn't that drunk? She didn't score high on the breath test.
K.M. in Suwanee
Answer: In Georgia, if you are under the age of 21, then the per se alcohol limit is .02. If you are 21 years of age or older, the per se limit is .08. So because your daughter is under 21, the law is that any alcohol breath or blood test that indicates a .02 or higher means that she is driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration.
With a breath test reading of .05, she is actually over twice the legal limit. As you state, she was probably not drunk. However, under Georgia law, she can be charged with DUI.
Utilizing data from certain studies, her test result of .05 probably means that she had only a drink or two. Generally, one drink equals 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (40% alcohol), 12 ounces of beer (4.5% alcohol), or 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol). Depending on factors like body weight, height and what she had eaten, she may have had just one drink.
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