Georgia DUI Laws

A DUI arrest in Georgia is a very serious matter. Whether you’ve had only one or multiple DUIs, the consequences are significant. Standard penalties are outlined in the following pages. If you have been charged with DUI, an experience attorney can help you navigate the legal system.

Georgia has different definitions for driving while impaired. These include driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, and drunk driving. Georgia law states that for a driving under the influence case to remain intact the court must determine that the driver was less safe due to the consumption of alcohol.

These cases can be proven even if no breath test, blood alcohol content test, or chemical test was involved. Individuals always have the right to refuse an alcohol test, but this can lead to heavier consequences. When a blood alcohol content test or other test has been administered, the state will then need to show evidence that the driving was in fact unsafe.

First Georgia DUI Offense in 10 Years

  • Fines from $300 to $1,000
  • Jail time from 10 days to 1 year (A judge may suspend all but 24 hours.)
  • 40 hours of community service
  • Alcohol & Drug Evaluation and recommended treatment, which may be waived by court
  • Loss of license for 1 year (Most drivers are eligible to drive on a 120-day limited permit. At the end of 120 days, with completion of Driver’s Risk Reduction Program, your regular license can be rein- stated.)
  • $210 license reinstatement fee
  • Up to 1 year on probation
  • Misdemeanor conviction

Second Georgia DUI Offense in 10 Years

  • Fines from $600 to $1,000
  • Jail time from 90 days to 1 year (A judge may suspend all but 72 hours.)
  • 30 days of community service
  • Alcohol & Drug Evaluation and recommended treatment, which may be waived by court
  • Loss of license for 3 years (There is no reinstatement for 18 months, 12-month hard suspension and 6-month limited permit with installation of an Ignition Interlock Device and completion of Driver’s Risk Reduction Program.)
  • $310 license reinstatement fee
  • Re-issued license will have a red stripe
  • Pay for your name, photo and address to be published in local newspaper
  • Surrender license plate (Co-owner of car or family member may be granted hardship license plate.)
  • Up to 1 year on probation
  • Misdemeanor conviction

Third Georgia DUI Offense in 10 Years

  • Fines from $1,000 to $5,000
  • Jail time from 120 days to 1 year (A judge may suspend all but 15 days.)
  • 30 days of community service
  • Alcohol & Drug Evaluation and recommended treatment, which may be waived by court
  • Deemed habitual violator (HV) with license revoked for 5 years (A limited permit may be issued after 2 years upon completing Driver’s Risk Reduction Program, obtaining SR-22 insurance, and installing an Ignition Interlock Device.)
  • $410 license reinstatement fee
  • Surrender license plate (Co-owner of car or family member may be granted hardship license plate)
  • Pay for your name, photo and address to be published in local newspaper
  • Up to 1 year on probation
  • High and aggravated misdemeanor conviction

Fourth Georgia DUI Offense in 10 Years

Any driving offense if the driver has been declared a habitual violator

  • Fines from $1,000 to $5,000
  • Jail time from 1 year to 5 years (A judge may suspend all but 90 days.)
  • 60 days of community service
  • Alcohol & Drug Evaluation and recommended treatment, which may be waived by court
  • License may be suspended indefinitely
  • Vehicle may be confiscated
  • Completion of Driver’s Risk Reduction program
  • Up to 5 years on probation
  • A felony conviction

Blood Alcohol Content Limits

Like all other states, Georgia has a blood alcohol content cap of 0.08 percent where individuals may be prosecuted. Those with blood alcohol content levels of 0.05 or less can also be prosecuted as presumed drunkenness

Impairment of driving will have to be proven, such as poor driving, slurred speech, and safety issues. Those that have a blood alcohol level of 0.06 or 0.07 percent are not considered inferences. However these cases can be tried if evidence is sufficiently provided, like in 0.05 percent or less cases.

Even one DUI can be too Much

Most people will agree that driving while intoxicated is a bad idea, but everyone makes mistakes. A single DUI will be a painful experience, but it probably won’t disrupt your life too much. If it is your second, third or fourth DUI conviction, then your prospects are dramatically worse. With each subsequent DUI, you could be punished with massive fines, loss of license and sizeable jail sentences.

There are certain minimums that each state requires when it comes to punishing a DUI. The closer you can get your penalties to these minimums the better off you are but for that, you will need a DUI attorney. An experienced DUI attorney can negotiate on your behalf to get the least penalties possible and if you are not happy with those then they can take your case to court.

Our DUI attorneys have years of experience representing clients in these types of cases, and we would be happy to discuss your case with you. Now is not the time to go it alone. Contact our Atlanta, Georgia law office today to set up a free consultation with one of our DUI lawyers and find out how they can help you with your criminal case.

.08% Blood Alcohol Content the Golden Rule When it Comes to Legal Intoxication?

Most states do use.08% as a guideline but it depends on your age and status as well. If you are:

  • Under 21 years of age – the limit is.02%
  • 21 or older – the limit is.08%
  • A commercial driver – the limit is.04%

How Extreme are the Penalties if You are a Multiple DUI Offender?

The main things that will change depending on your past offenses are how long you will lose your license for, how much you will have to pay in fines and how long you may have to be in jail. It breaks down like this:

  • If it is your first DUI in ten years then the minimums will be 24 hours of jail time, a 300$ fine and up to a year of license suspension.
  • If it is your second DUI in ten years then the minimums will be 3 days of jail time, a 600$ fine and 3 years of license suspension.
  • If it is your third DUI in ten years then the minimums will be 15 days of jail time, a 1,000$ fine, and 5 years of license suspension
  • If it is your fourth DUI in ten years then the minimums will be one year of jail time, a 1,000$ fine and indefinite license suspension

Keep in mind that these are the best you can hope for when it comes to penalties in multiple DUI cases. Without proper representation by an experienced DUI defense attorney, the outcome can be much worse.

Habitual Violator

If you get three DUI charges within a five-year period, you will be declared a habitual violator. This is not a criminal charge, but it is a change in status that will have a severe impact on your life.

If you become a habitual violator, your license will be revoked for five years, although you may be eligible for a probationary license after two years. To reinstate your license after the five years are up, you must complete an alcohol and drug risk reduction program, re-take the driver’s tests, complete a driver improvement clinic, and pay a fee of up to $410.

Any further DUI charges you receive as a habitual violator will be charged under Georgia DUI law as felonies, punishable by a minimum of one year of jail time, a fine of $1,000, and indefinite license suspension. Additionally, if you kill or seriously injure another person while driving under the influence as a habitual violator, you will face more severe penalties, with a minimum of three years in jail per person killed or injured.

Georgia Per Se Laws

Driving under the influence cases can also be prosecuted through per se laws. These laws state that individuals may be charged for driving with blood alcohol levels over the legal limit. They are often paired with DUI laws. Per se laws do not require that the individual be proven to be less safe while driving, instead the individual is prosecuted for having a blood alcohol level above the limit while operating a motor vehicle.

DUI Punishments

First-time offenders will receive a one thousand-dollar fine, forty hours of community service, and jail time from twenty-four hours to twelve months, depending on the circumstances. Multiple offenses can result in a ten-year conviction, driver’s license suspension up to twelve months, fines up to one thousand dollars, and community service up to two hundred forty hours. Alcohol evaluations will be mandatory along with DUI school.

Georgia DUI Laws for Minors

Any individual under the age of twenty-one will be prosecuted for driving under the influence as a minor. Rather then set the blood alcohol content level at 0.08 percent, as it is with legal adults, the state of Georgia places the blood alcohol content level for minors at 0.02 percent. Individuals who are convicted will receive a punishment of a driver’s license suspension for six months.

This is the same punishment for those who plead guilty to the DUI offense. Minors with blood alcohol content levels over 0.08 percent will be punished with a driver’s license suspension of twelve months upon conviction. Those who plead guilty to DUI offenses with blood alcohol content levels over 0.08 percent will also have a driver’s license suspension for twelve months.

After the driver’s license suspension time period has ended, the minor is required to take the written and driving test again in order to have his or her driver’s license reinstated. Per se laws are also present for minors.

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