The most accurate and uniform method of determining a driver’s level of intoxication is through measuring their BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). This scientific testing eliminates the unreliability of judging a driver’s intoxication based on subjective field sobriety tests or an officer’s “gut feeling.” Even though blood alcohol testing is scientific, it does not automatically equate to a conviction. Let’s explore the BAC basics for the state of Georgia.

How is BAC measured?

Law enforcement can verify BAC utilizing a variety of methods and tools. The most common device is a breath testing machine such as the Breathalyzer. Blood and urine samples can also be obtained and sent off for analysis. The test results will arrive at a later date indicating whether or not any alcohol or drugs were in the driver’s system.

What is the BAC limit in Georgia?

The legal limit of BAC for a driver is .08. This means anyone driving on the roads in Georgia with an alcohol level of .08 or higher can be charged with drunk driving. Drivers under 21 can be charged with a BAC as little as .02 or effectively one drink of alcohol. For commercial drivers, charges can be brought on with a BAC of .04. If a suspect is found to have a BAC of .15 or higher, they may encounter enhanced penalties.

Can I refuse chemical testing?

As a result of “per se” laws in Georgia, legally if you are driving on the roads you agree to be tested for alcohol content at any time. If you refuse, you will be prosecuted separately from any DUI criminal charges. This alone can result in a license suspension of 1 to 5 years depending on the incident and any prior convictions.

Accuracy of chemical testing

As reliable as breath, blood and urine tests can be they are still far from perfect. Breath tests in particular can be affected by numerous medical conditions and environmental factors. For instance, the very common condition of acid reflux disease can inflate breath test readings. Mouth washes containing alcohol can have a similar effect. Blood and urine tests are also subject to scrutiny depending on the time the test was taken compared to the time of the driving.

Testing over the limit does not equate to a conviction

Don’t give up. Our attorneys specialize in DUI law and have successfully defended many types of DUI cases. With your license, job, money and freedom at stake, why chance it? Speak with one of our DUI attorneys today!

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