Absorption Rate – The rate alcohol is absorbed into the blood and body tissues. Generally, after alcohol is consumed a small percentage of alcohol (typically around 20%) is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The remaining alcohol is absorbed as it moves through the gastrointestinal tract. A persons absorption rate is impacted by the amount of fat tissue in the body, body size, metabolic rate, and other factors.
Administrative License Suspension – A persons driver’s license is confiscated immediately upon refusal of a breath/blood alcohol test, or arrest. Drivers who have had their license suspended for either failing or refusing to take a BAC test, may challenge their revocation through a hearing.
ALS Hearing – if a person properly files a 10-day letter with the Department of Drivers Services he/she may be entitled to a hearing to determine whether his/her license should be suspended for a year or more. During these hearings, the State must prove one or more of the following: (1) the police officer had sufficient evidence to believe the driver was intoxicated; (2) the driver had a BAC of more than 0.08% while operating a vehicle; and (3) a BAC test was requested and the driver refused.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – the legal concept which states that the State must prove that a defendant is guilty of a DUI or other criminal offense “beyond a reasonable doubt.” A “reasonable doubt” is one that allows the court or jury to draw more than one reasonable conclusion about who is responsible for a crime. If the State cannot prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you cannot be properly convicted.
Blood Alcohol Concentration – (BAC) is the weight of alcohol in a fixed volume of blood. It is defined as the number of grams of alcohol per 1000 milliliters of blood, the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, or the number of grams of alcohol per 67 milliliters of urine.
Breathalyzer – A machine used by law enforcement to determine your BAC.
Conditional License – a license provided to an individual in return for completing a DUI course or alcohol treatment program. Conditional driver’s licenses afford a driver limited privileges to drive to and from work and/or school.
DUI – Driving under the Influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or toxic vapors.
DUI School – Also called risk reduction. Drug and alcohol education programs which are designed to teach drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving. Designed to reduce the chance of repeat offenses.
Dram Shop – A tavern, bar, or restaurant where alcoholic beverages are sold.
Dram Shop Liability – Dram shops have the legal responsibility to stop serving alcohol to persons who are visibly intoxicated. If a dram shop continues to sell alcohol to individuals who are visibly intoxicated and the intoxicated person subsequently causes injury and/or death to another, either through assault, injury, or motor vehicle collision, the dram shop may be legally responsible for the injury.
SFST – Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. For further information see our page on SFSTs.
Ignition Interlock Device – Also referred to as a vehicle lock, it is a device that is installed in a vehicle that prevents the vehicle from starting if a breath test detects a BAC over a pre-set limit.
Implied Consent – the legal concept in Georgia, that by driving on the roads in this state a person has consented to the test of their breath/blood for alcohol and the refusal to take a blood/breath alcohol test can result in automatic suspension of a persons license.
Intoxilyzer – a machine used to determine a persons BAC. A brand name, also referred to as Intoxylizer 5000.
HGN – Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. For more information, see our page on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.
Miranda Rights – Rights read to an individual upon arrest and interrogation. Through Miranda, you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a Court of law. You have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – NHTSA is part of the Department of Transportation and is tasked with researching traffic safety issues. Also responsible for establishing the three standardized field sobriety tests.
Nolo Contendere – also referred to a s a “no contest” plea. Ordinarily, in criminal offenses if you plead nolo you neither admit nor deny the commission of a crime, but agree to a punishment as if guilty. Usually this type of plea is entered because it cannot be used as an admission of guilt if a civil trial occurs subsequent to a criminal trial. However, it is important to note that if you plead nolo to a DUI law, it is the same as pleading guilty in that the DUI will go on your record and count the same as a guilty plea.
Open Container Law – Laws that refer to the regulation of open containers of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle or public place.
Per Se DUI – Under the Per Se law, the court will not consider the driver’s ability to drive a vehicle safely if the individual operates a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
Sobriety Checkpoints or Roadblocks – safety checkpoints that must be conducted under strict circumstances in order to comply with the law. These roadblocks are established for the purpose of detecting impaired drivers.
Vehicular Manslaughter – when a driver unintentionally kills another while operating a motor vehicle. Vehicular manslaughter can be caused by gross negligence, DUI, speeding, and/or reckless driving. This crime can be considered as a misdemeanor or felony. Common penalties include imprisonment, heavy fines, probation, and revocation of the convicted individual’s driver’s license.
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