I began to pull out of a gas station as another car came to pull into it. We both stopped and I continued on my way. An officer then follows me down a long stretch of road and decides to pull me over. I take the field sobriety test and the intoxilyzer. The officers take time to ponder my results as they look back and forth at each other and the device. One of them asks me to agreed whether I was driving less safe. After discussing the meaning vaguely, reluctantly confirmed him and was arrested right away. I ask the officers whether or not I failed and my breath result. He said I failed and his device only measured positive or negative for alcohol. I was taken to the station where I blew a .055 and was taken to "County." I was advise to meet with the DA by someone. What should I do?
This is a very winnable case. If you go in on your own, the prosecutor will try to get you to take a plea to DUI or may tell you they are doing you a favor by reducing the charge to reckless, knowing that they will lose at trial. An experienced DUI lawyer could possibly win the case at trial, or even get the charge dismissed depending on where the charge is pending.
As my colleagues have said, you need to speak with an attorney right away. While none of us can say for sure without seeing a police report, or certainly sounds like you have a very good case. The state can go forward on a DUI charge with a breath test result that is that low, but a good lawyer will be able to convince a jury that they should not convict with that evidence.
Hire an attorney immediately.
There are two types of DUI that the state can convict someone of. The first is to prove that a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more while driving or otherwise being in control of a vehicle (or within three hours of same). This is known as the "per se" provision of Georgia DUI law.
The second way for the state to seek a conviction is to show that a driver is "less safe" to operate a vehicle. Under the "less safe driver" provisions, the state must prove that alcohol (and/or other intoxicants) caused the driver to be less safe. Although a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less raises an inference that the driver was not intoxicated, the state can still try and convict you by showing that you were a less safe driver. Unfortunately, you have already “reluctantly confirmed” to the police that you were a less safe driver.
In any event, these types of cases CAN be won. Please feel free to give me a call to discuss your case.
Paul J. Sieg
You need to fight this case to the end. You blew significantly under the legal limit. In Georgia, even if you blow under a .08 you can still be charged with being a less safe driver. The officer was being incredibly sneaky when he tried to get you to agree with him that you were a less safe driver. At .055 you are in the middle ground of breath test result. At .05 and below you are presumed sober; at .08 and higher your are legally intoxicated (whether you feel like it or not); at .051 to .079 (where you are) is the middle ground where the prosecution has to prove that you were a less safe driver. They will use your driving that night, your performance on the field sobriety tests, and other observations of the officer to try to convict you. However, you are on the low end and you probably did very well on the field sobriety tests, and you were probably driving just fine after the initial encounter with the other vehicle. This is not a case where you should be convicted of a DUI.
You should hire an experienced and knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney - ASAP!!! You have been charged under the DUI "Less Safe" provision of the Georgia DUI law. Most DUI charges are for DUI "Per SE" which means that you took the States official test and the results were 0.08 or more. You "confirmed" the officer when asked if you were "Less Safe". Believe it or not, but officers in Georgia actually have training called Verbal Judo! It sounds like using their training you were basically manipulated into your admission. I do not recommend that you meet with the DA while you are unrepresented. A prosecutor could try and take advantage of you and offer to reduce the charge. This case is very defensible and if you are represented by an attorney you may be able to have the charges Dismissed I hope this information is helpful to you!
Good Luck!! George McCranie www.mccranielawfirm.com
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