This article describes the process leading up to Georgia’s adoption the .08 DUI per se limit currently included in Georgia DUI law.
Georgia was led to the adoption of its current DUI “per se” levels by the federal government. As is usually the case, Georgia adopted its current DUI “per se” levels as a result of money. The United States Congress passed a federal incentive grant in 1998 as part of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21). The Transportation Equity Act “encouraged” states, such as Georgia, to adopt a 0.08 g/dL BAC per se concentration as illegal (23 U.S.C., Section 163).
In 2000, the U.S. Congress passed the 0.08 g/dL BAC for all drivers twenty-one years of age and older as the national standard for impaired driving as part of the Department of Transportation’s appropriation’s for fiscal 2001. In order to provide incentives for state legislatures to adopt the lower BAC level, part of the plan that provided for a graded loss of federal highway construction funds if the new lower BAC was not adopted by the dates specified (NHTSA, January , 2003). The DUI “per se” level for Georgia CDL DUI charges is even harsher. For commercial drivers, the DUI “per se” level is 0.04 g/dL as a result of the US Department of Transportation regulations for commercial vehicle operators and related persons in safety sensitive positions.