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DUI Less Safe Drugs – The Standard

Posted by Ben Sessions | Dec 06, 2014 | 0 Comments

Georgia DUI less safe charges are one of the most confusing charges to defendants and, unfortunately, many lawyers.  The confusion surrounding Georgia DUI less safe charges arises primarily from the belief that in a DUI case there must be a chemical of blood, breath, or urine to establish that the suspect is under the influence alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs.


Most DUI drugs must cases must be prosecuted as a DUI less safe charge. For many DUI drugs cases, even if you are not taking a drug under a prescription, the state must still establish that you were impaired as a result of the drugs.  In other words, although you were not in lawful possession of the drugs, the state cannot simply rely upon the presence of the drugs within you to establish a DUI charge:

To sustain a conviction of DUI-less safe, it is not sufficient to show merely that Head was driving after having ingested, at some point in time, alprazolam and cocaine. Rather, the state must prove that Head “was a less safe driver as a result of being under the influence of [these drugs].” (Citation and punctuation omitted; emphasis in original.) Ricks v. State, 255 Ga.App. 188, 190, 564 S.E.2d 793 (2002). See also State v. Ellison, 271 Ga.App. 898, 902(3)(b), 611 S.E.2d 129 (2005) (“Mere presence of [drugs] is not the issue…. [T]he [s]tate must prove that the defendant had impaired driving ability as a result of [the drugs].”) (Punctuation and footnote omitted); Bowen v. State, 235 Ga.App. 900, 901–902, 510 S.E.2d 873 (1999). Cf. State v. Rish, 295 Ga.App. 815, 816, 673 S.E.2d 259 (2009) ( “If the evidence shows only that a driver is intoxicated and does not show that his consumption of alcohol [or drugs] has impaired his ability to drive, there is no probable cause to arrest for DUI-less safe.”).

Georgia DUI less safe charges are among the difficult concepts for defendants to grasp.  If you have questions regarding your Georgia DUI case, please contact our office.


If you are seeking more information regarding a DUI Less Safe Charge in Georgia or any of the other types of DUI charges in Georgia, contact Ben Sessions of The Sessions Law Firm at (470) 225-7710.

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The Sessions Law Firm, LLC
1447 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 530
Atlanta, Georgia 30309

Phone: (470) 225-7710

About the Author

Ben Sessions

I work to provide exceptional service, attention, and results to each of my clients. Most of clients come to me because they are in a completely overwhelming situation. They need someone that will do more than address their legal problems.


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