What does a per se limit for alcohol mean for Georgia drivers?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2023 | DUI

There are multiple different ways that a driver in Georgia could end up arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense. Some people get arrested at the scene of a crash when they fail a breath test or admit to drinking earlier in the day. Others may get arrested as the result of a sobriety checkpoint where officers screen as many drivers as possible at a specific location.

Many people arrested for DUI offenses in Georgia get pulled over as part of targeted law enforcement efforts. Most of these traffic stops begin because of signs of impairment, but sometimes the reason for the traffic stop is a completely unrelated issue. Someone might have forgotten to use their turn signal or may be unaware of their burned-out tail light.

A per se violation could lead to someone’s arrest even when they don’t show any signs of compromised ability at the wheel.

What is a per se traffic violation?

Georgia imposes a set limit on an individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). While it is illegal to drive when you have compromised ability, it is also illegal to drive when your BAC exceeds the per se limit.

Most drivers cannot have a BAC of 0.08% or higher without running the risk of an arrest. Younger drivers and those in control of commercial vehicles are subject to even stricter limits. Someone who fails a BAC test can face a DUI arrest even if they didn’t cause a crash or have any problems with operating their vehicle.

How do you fight a per se infraction?

When the only evidence that you violated the law is a chemical test result, it may be worthwhile to challenge the accuracy of the test results. In some cases, drivers who have an attorney representing them can successfully raise a reasonable doubt about whether they were actually over the legal limit or not at the time of a traffic stop.

There are other possible means of defending yourself, including challenging whether the officer had grounds to pull you over in the first place. Discussing the evidence against you and the circumstances leading to your arrest with a lawyer can help you determine how to respond to Georgia DUI charges.