If I Blow Under the Limit, How Can I Be Arrested for a DUI?
You're at the side of the road with police lights flashing behind you. You may have had a beer or two, but you know you're okay to drive. The police officer will grill you about being intoxicated, but you're sure that if you submit to the breathalyzer test, it will be below the legal limit. But what you may not expect is that when you blow below the limit, the police may still arrest you for a DUI.
The Georgia 0.08% blood alcohol content is not a mandatory limit for a DUI arrest. The statewide and national standard for per se intoxication is enough for the police to show you are legally over the limit, regardless of any signs of impairment. However, it works both ways. If the police suspect you are impaired, they can arrest you for a DUI even if your BAC is under the limit.
Known as a DUI less safe, the standard for prosecution has little to do with chemical testing. Rather, you can be convicted of a DUI less safe if you are under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for you to drive a vehicle.
Because the prosecutor can't rely on a clear line blood or breath test limit to show you are over the legal limit, they will use evidence gathered during the arrest to try and prove you were impaired. This will usually involve the observations of the arresting officer, such as how the driver was driving, what they said during the roadside stop, if their speech was slurred or eyes were bloodshot, and the results of any breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests.
The preliminary alcohol screening device, sometimes called a breathalyzer, is not as accurate as the breath chemical testing machines at the police station. However, police officers use them in the field to get a preliminary alcohol evaluation, which they may use to arrest a driver and have them submit to more reliable chemical testing after arrest. But just because you tested under the legal limit does not mean you are necessarily free to go.
In some cases, you can be arrested for a DUI even testing at only 0.02% BAC. Either the police may suspect you are under the influence of drugs which will not show up on a standard breathalyzer, or they may just want to wait for the prosecutor to decide whether the case will go forward. Either way, you are forced to deal with the situation.
If you haven't been treated fairly during your arrest, don't expect the prosecutor to treat you fairly in court. You need someone to stand by you throughout the DUI process, to make sure your rights are upheld. The police and prosecutors may try and push you around, but if you have an Atlanta DUI lawyer by your side, they will think twice. The police can arrest you, but they can't convict you. Make sure a DUI arrest doesn't end in a DUI conviction.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer for Less Safe DUIs
Whether or not you passed a chemical breath test, you still have rights and you have defenses. Don't wait around to make the call, because you only have 30 days to challenge an automatic one-year license suspension. Call us today so we can discuss your driver's license hearing, chemical test results, and what we will do to fight for your rights.