Practice Areas

Steakley Law Firm

DUI

Dealing with a drunk driving arrest can be one of the toughest things you ever do. Most of the people we represent are good people who made a poor decision and were caught in a bad situation. The Georgia criminal justice system treats a DUI charge seriously. A DUI has serious consequences.

It is a crime in Georgia to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for you to do so. A driver or operator of a motor vehicle is under the influence of alcohol when the person is affected by alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive than it would be if the person were not affected by alcohol.

"Less safe" is a very broad and vague term. A jury may find you "less safe" simply because you were weaving or did not property stop as well as you normally do. In fact, a jury may find you "less safe" even if you were driving perfectly.

 

In deciding this issue, the jury may consider anything in the evidence relevant in deciding whether defendant was a less safe driver. Specifically, as to consumption of alcohol the jury may consider, among other factors, the smell or lack of smell of alcoholic beverages on your breath and whether any test indicated the presence of alcohol in your system. As to whether you were less safe to drive, the jury may consider relevant factors, including the actual manner of driving the motor vehicle; your control of your mental and physical abilities, your physical condition, and any expert testimony. Merely showing that you had been drinking or that there was the smell of alcohol on your breath or person, without proof of the manner of driving or the ability to drive, is insufficient to prove you were guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol.

If the jury should find from the evidence in this case that the amount of alcohol in your blood was 0.08 grams or more of alcohol, the jury may infer that you were under the influence of alcohol. However, whether or not the jury make such inference is a question for the jury to decide.

If the jury finds from the evidence that there was 0.05 grams or less of alcohol in your blood at the time of the offense, there is a presumption that you were not under the influence of alcohol, but this presumption may be rebutted.

If the jury finds that the alcohol concentration your blood was in excess of 0.05 grams but less than 0.08 grams at the time of the offense, such fact may be considered along with any other evidence in determining whether or not you were under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it was less safe for you to drive at the time of the alleged incident.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while there is an alcohol concentration of 0.10 grams or more in the person's blood at any time within three hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a moving vehicle from alcohol consumed before such driving or physical control ended.

It is unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to drive, or be in actual physical control of, any moving vehicle while there is an alcohol concentration of 0.04 grams or more in the person's blood at any time within three hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a moving vehicle from alcohol consumed before such driving or physical control ended.

It is unlawful for someone to be in actual physical control of any moving commercial motor vehicle while there is 0.04 percent or more by weight of alcohol in that person's blood, breath, or urine at any time within three hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a moving vehicle from alcohol consumed before such driving or physical control ended.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive, or be in actual physical control of, any moving vehicle while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive than it would have been without having consumed such drug.

The fact that any person charged with driving under the influence is or has been legally entitled to use a drug shall not constitute a defense to driving under the influence of drugs; provided, however, that such person shall not be in violation of the law unless such person is rendered incapable of driving safely as a result of using drugs which you are legally entitled to use.

Finally, keep in mind that Georgia law regarding the sentencing of repeat DUI offenders has changed recently. If you have prior DUI offenses, please alert me to them.

If you are pulled over and arrested for DUI, you will have a lot of questions. The Law Office of John A. Steakley, P.C., is here to answer your questions.

 

 

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540 Powder Springs Street
Suite D-22
Marietta, GA 30064