Getting arrested for a DUI in Georgia can be a very frightening and worrisome situation to endure, but just because you’re arrested, that doesn’t mean you will be convicted.
Here’s what you should know about a Georgia DUI:
As You Know, Driving Under the Influence Is Highly Illegal
In the state of Georgia, you may be charged with a DUI for being in actual physical control of a vehicle while:
- Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more
- If you are operating a commercial vehicle, you may only have a BAC of 0.04%
- If you are under 21 years of age, you may only have a BAC of 0.02%
- Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a controlled substance
- There is any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in your blood or urine
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you may still be arrested for a DUI offense even if your BAC is below 0.08%. If the arresting officer believes that you are too intoxicated to drive, you may still be charged with a DUI.
In addition, even if you don’t appear to be impaired in any way, if your BAC is 0.08% or greater, you can still be arrested for a “per se DUI”.
DUI Penalties in Georgia
First-time DUI offenders in Georgia are not treated the same as second or third-time offenders. These are the various DUI penalties in Georgia:
If you are convicted of a DUI offense, you will be placed on probation for 12 months, minus any time you served in jail. Before you can start probation, you must first serve at least 24 hours in jail for your first offense. For a second offense, you must serve 72 hours in jail, and for a third offense, you must serve 15 days in jail.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you are required to complete an alcohol and drug clinical evaluation and pursue any recommended treatment program. If you are convicted for a second DUI, you must also complete a DUI alcohol or drug use risk reduction program.
Passengers Under 18
If you had a minor in your car when you were arrested for a DUI, you may be charged with a separate offense of child endangerment. A conviction of this nature can increase your jail time by 12 months and you may face up to $1,000 in additional fines.
If you are convicted of two DUIs within a 5 year period, you will be required to give up your driver’s license plates. They will not be returned to you until your driving privileges are reinstated.
If you are convicted of a third DUI, you will be required to relinquish and sell the vehicle you were driving when you were arrested for the DUI.
A DUI is typically a misdemeanor in Georgia, unless:
- It is your 4th or subsequent DUI conviction in a 10 year period
- You try to evade an officer while driving intoxicated
- You cause someone else to sustain a serious injury or death (including an unborn fetus)
If you are convicted of a felony DUI, the penalties will be more severe. You must serve at least one year in prison.
As long as you were not involved in a DUI collision and have not been convicted of a prior DUI within a five-year time period, you may apply for a hardship license. You must be registered in treatment or accountability court.
This type of license is effective amidst the suspension period and is subject to ignition interlock device (IID) and travel restrictions. If you’ve had one prior DUI in the past five years, you may apply for a hardship license after completing 120 days of suspension.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, we may be able to help you through this frightening time. Being accused of a DUI is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. Our skilled attorney, Jeff Dickerson, is highly skilled in the area of DUI defense and has helped many others in similar situations clear their names of charges. Let us see if we can help you, too.
Contact our experienced attorneys at The Dickerson Firm LLC by calling (678) 487-5728 or by filling out our online contact form.