Why did the officer charge me with more that one DUI?
Often, in Texas, when you are arrested for DUI, you will receive a DUI “less safe” ticket along with a DUI “per se” ticket. Sometimes it will simply state 40-6-391(a)(1-5). This can be quite confusing and unsettling because upon initial inspection it would appear as if you now are charged with more than one DUI. It is highly unlikely you have been charged with more than one DUI, rather, the multiple tickets merely refer to the multiple ways the prosecutor may attempt to prove the single act of DUI.
LESS SAFE DUI
For instance, the prosecutor can go forward with a DUI charge even without a breath, blood or urine test. In the absence of a chemical test, the prosecutor would likely pursue a “less safe” DUI. In Georgia, you may be convicted of DUI if the prosecutor can prove that, as a result of alcohol consumption, you were rendered a “less safe” driver. A person is DUI “less safe” when he is under the influence of alcohol to a degree which renders him incapable of driving safely. In a typical DUI “less safe” case, the prosecutor will attempt to prove his case by pointing to the initial driving (weaving, speeding, failure to maintain lane); manner of speech (slurring, mumbled); odor of alcohol; balance issues; and filed sobriety tests.
PER SE DUI
If you elected to take the breath (or blood) test, then the prosecutor will often attempt to prove the DUI in two separate ways. First, the DUI “less safe” way (described above). Second, the prosecutor will offer into evidence the test result. In Georgia, you may be convicted of a “per se” DUI if the prosecutor successfully proves you were over the limit within three hours after driving stopped (from alcohol consumed previously). You should have received a copy of your breath test result from your arresting officer.
Often people get very nervous when they see that they are charged with a drug-related DUI. Just because the officer wrote you a ticket for DUI drugs, or the prosecutor added a drug charge to your accusation, does NOT mean there is any evidence of drugs. Rather, this is a manner of charging every possible type of DUI so that their case isn’t later thrown out because they forgot to charge you in a manner appropriate to the facts of your case. As a matter of general practice, some prosecutors and some officers charge every person arrested for DUI with every type of DUI to avoid such a mistake. While it may protect the prosecutor or police officer, it can often be very awkward to explain to an employer why your background check has revealed a pending DUI drug charge. Talk to your attorney to see if she can provide your employer with the materials necessary to explain why this has happened in your case.
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