Anne Bishop, P. O. Box 313, Gainesville, GA 30503 (770) 783-5296

A. Bishop Law, LLC

Georgia DUI Conviction Even Below .08 (Less Safe DUI)

DUI Lawyer Georgia

A person can obtain a Georgia DUI conviction, even though they are below .08 or if there are no results at all. Almost every one is familiar with .08 being the legal limit for a DUI in Georgia. However, many people do not realize that under Georgia DUI Law a person can be convicted of being “Under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.”

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What’s the Difference? (Per Se versus Less Safe DUI)

Under DUI law in Georgia, there are two ways to receive a Georgia DUI conviction. The first is per se and the second is Less Safe. Per se is basically Latin for ˜it is’. This means that under the law if you are over .08 ˜it is’ DUI.

Under Less Safe DUI, the government has to prove that the driver was a less safe driver as a result of alcohol, when compared to someone that had not consumed alcohol. The government has to prove that the driver did something either in driving or in appearance to show that the driver was in fact DUI less safe. An extreme example is crashing your car. Regardless of a refusal and the inability to pursue a per se, if the driver has signs of alcohol consumption, even if under .08, the driver can be prosecuted for less safe DUI.

What is a Less Safe DUI?

There is no hard and fast rule for Less Safe. The statute defines Less Safe as: Under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive. So what does that mean? To help a driver understand the meaning, a Gainesville, Georgia DUI Attorney needs to review previous court decisions, which are called Case Law and the facts of the case. These previous court decisions give the Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys a guide to what may or may not be Less Safe DUI.

Odor of alcohol, refusal of a chemical test, no driving infraction, or just slurred speech or staggering are not sufficient for a Less Safe conviction. There needs to be specific observations of driving involving alcohol and/ or appearance and conduct of the driver being impaired by alcohol.

Almost all police officers put in their report that the driver had: a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, and the driver was unsteady on his feet.   These factors are commonly described, because this is what the courts look for when determining if the driver was properly arrested.


Even without a blood alcohol test of .08, a driver still, may still be convicted of DUI if a police officer and a prosecutor can convince a jury that the driver was Less Safe as a result of alcohol.

DUI Lawyer Georgia

At A. Bishop Law, our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney welcomes questions on Criminal Defense laws, Traffic Laws and Georgia DUI laws. Please Call or Email us with any questions.

About the attorney:  Anne Bishop is a Georgia lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWIMarijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters.  The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, OakwoodFlowery Branch), Jackson County  (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.

This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.

Anne Bishop
A. Bishop Law, LLC
Attorney at Law
539 Green Street NW
Phone: (770) 783-5296