What is the BAC limit for motorists in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | DUI

Some people get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in Georgia because they have had so much to drink that their impairment is obvious to anyone who crosses paths with them on the street. They swerve, they stop without reason or they cause a crash.

Other people accused of alcohol intoxication at the wheel specifically get arrested because their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit. Such scenarios usually involve a technical violation of the law or a per se DUI infraction. Georgia law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC over a certain limit regardless of how well someone drives.

Some people find the per se DUI laws confusing in part because people with different licenses are subject to different limits. What is the BAC limit for drivers in Georgia?

There are three statutory BAC limits

Most people accused of a DUI offense will be adults operating their own motor vehicles. They will be subject to the standard BAC limit, which is 0.08%. Anyone at or over that level could face criminal charges. Once their BAC reaches 0.15% or higher, they will likely face aggravated charges and enhanced penalties.

If the person accused of impaired driving is not 21 and therefore not old enough to legally drink, they are subject to a much lower BAC limit. The zero-tolerance standard for underage drivers allows their arrest and prosecution with a BAC of 0.02% or more. Teen and young adult drivers aren’t the only ones subject to a stricter limit than the average motorist. Anyone operating a commercial vehicle, like a bus or a semi-truck, will face prosecution for a BAC of 0.04% or higher.

A violation of the per se limit for alcohol is illegal on its own without any signs of impairment or other aggravating factors. The good news for those accused of a per se offense or technical DUI violation is that test results are not always accurate, which means there may be viable defense options available.

Those who fight back instead of pleading guilty could avoid fines, incarceration, licensing penalties and a criminal record that could drastically alter what happens in the future. Learning about the statutes about impaired driving in Georgia may help people better prepare to defend against DUI charges.