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Can you get a DUI after just one beer?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2021 | DUI/DWI |

Typically, people assume that it’s fine to have one drink and then drive without getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI). They don’t expect to be impaired by a single drink, and they know they won’t get over the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08%. This is why people will often go out to eat, have a beer or a glass of wine with dinner, and then drive home without thinking twice. 

But could you get a DUI after a single drink? Is this more of a risk than you realized?

Your age and the zero tolerance laws

For one thing, remember that any impairment behind the wheel of a vehicle is illegal. If you’re a “lightweight” who seldom drinks, for example, you can be very impaired and still be under 0.08% after a  single glass of wine, so you can get arrested even if you don’t break the legal BAC limit.

If you’re a young driver who is under 21 years of age, though, you also need to know that Georgia has a zero-tolerance law. If you take a breath test and it comes back with almost any positive result — from 0.02% to 0.05% — you can still get arrested. The standard limit of 0.08% does not apply to you. 

Why was the law written this way? In general, it’s just because those who are under 21 years old are not supposed to drink at all. If you present a positive result, it may only mean you had one beer. You may not feel impaired. But, since you weren’t supposed to have even that one drink, it’s easier for you to get charged with a DUI. 

What should you do next?

Serious charges can dramatically impact your life at a young age. Be sure you know what steps to take next to proactively protect your rights and your future.