DUI “Less Safe”
In the State of Georgia, a driver can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) “Less Safe”, in violation of O.C.G.A. 40-6-391, if there is probable cause to believe he or she drove or was in actual physical control of a moving vehicle, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to the extent that it was “less safe” for that person to drive.
Unlike the charge of DUI Per Se, which is based on a driver’s actual alcohol concentration or the presence of marijuana or controlled substances in the driver’s urine and/or blood, the State (as represented by the Solicitor or Assistant District Attorney) need not show the driver’s alcohol concentration to establish that he or she was a “Less Safe” driver.
To prove that a driver was Driving Under the Influence to the extent that it was less safe for him or her to do so, the State may attempt to establish impairment by the officers observations (as in, smelling an odor of alcohol or strange behavior), a driver’s admission to having consumed alcohol, erratic driving, conclusions regarding the results of any Field Sobriety Tests performed, the driver’s refusal to submit to field sobriety tests, and the officer’s resulting opinion that the driver was Driving Under the Influence to the extent that it was “less safe” to drive.
While the refusal to submit to Field Sobriety Tests and the Breathalyzer can be used against a driver charged with DUI in the State of Georgia, and there are consequences for such refusal (discussed more thoroughly here), it takes much more to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver was DUI “Less Safe” than just proof of refusal.
Without the “science” of a Breathalyzer or blood or urine test result to establish a driver’s alcohol or drug concentration, the case is essentially based on the officer’s opinions, and establishing a charge of DUI “Less Safe” beyond a reasonable doubt can be quite difficult and often impossible for the State. With professional advice from an experienced Canton DUI attorney, you may be able to beat these charges. Contact us today to find out how!