Woodstock DUI: He never intended to get a DUI

Question: My son was arrested in Woodstock for DUI the other night. He was coming home on Highway 92 from a party and he was stopped by a Woodstock cop for speeding and failure to maintain lane. Now he has to go through the whole DUI process: getting a lawyer, going to court, maybe going to jail, paying fines, DUI school, etc.

He was coming home from a football party given by some friends of his from Reinhardt University. They just had a few beers each, he said, and maybe a mixed drink or two. They are all good students and good kids and they all want to be dentists.

My son took the breath test and his score was .184. I know that's pretty high and he really should not have been driving. I've told him many times that the legal limit is .08. The thing is that he never wanted to be a drunk driver. He never planned to be DUI. He did not want to be charged with DUI.

My point is that if he's going to be charged with a crime, shouldn't he have had the desire to commit a crime? Is that a good defense to DUI? I don't understand why a young person can be charged with a crime that was really just a mistake, something that he never wanted to do. He's only 19 years old and I'm worried about his future.

Answer: For anyone under the age of 21, the DUI threshold is just .02. Only for people 21 years of age or older is the per se limit .08. So your son was actually 9 times over the limit.

As for his intent, that is irrelevant for a DUI prosecution. DUI is a crime that does not require intent. In other words, a prosecutor, or in this case the solicitor in Woodstock, does not have to prove that your son intended to drive drunk. The solicitor just needs to prove that he was driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (in excess of .02) to be convicted of DUI. We understand that .02 is a very low threshold, but that is the law in Georgia.

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