If you ask the average driver about the legal limit for impaired driving in Georgia, they’ll probably tell you that a motorist’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) cannot be over 0.08%. This is a common legal limit that is used across the United States, and it does apply in Georgia. Once a driver has breached this level, the court can presume that they were impaired while driving.
That being said, there are a few things that everyone needs to know about the legal limit. It may not actually be 0.08% in your case. The legal BAC limit is actually different for certain motor vehicle operators.
The limit for commercial drivers
First and foremost, commercial drivers – including semi-truck drivers – have a lower limit than the rest of the general population. A commercial driver could face criminal charges if they break a limit of 0.04% while operating a commercial vehicle. This reality could be particularly problematic for them because they could lose their commercial driver’s license, meaning that they could no longer work in their chosen industry as a result of an impaired driving conviction.
The limit for underage drivers
Next, drivers who are under 21 years old are not legally allowed to drink at all. As such, Georgia has enacted a zero-tolerance law, like many other states have. This sets the legal limit for someone who is under 21 at 0.02%.
You can get a DUI if you’re under the legal limit
Finally, the legal limit is not a magical line that protects you from getting a DUI. Police officers can argue that you were impaired even if you are below this limit.
Of course, there are also options for you to fight these types of allegations. An officer would have to prove that you showed other signs of impairment. And, even if you did take a breath test that shows you were over the limit, you may contest that the officer made mistakes while giving it to you or did not use a properly calibrated breath test. No matter what charges you’re facing, make sure that you speak with an experienced legal professional about the steps you can take and about what options you have when crafting a defense strategy.