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DUI Drugs

Georgia DUI Drug Attorney

Handling DUI Drug Cases throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia

Georgia law criminalized driving under the influence of any type of drug if it impairs the driver to the extent that they are less safe to drive.  It does not matter if the drug in question is illegal, validly prescribed, or over-the-counter.  If you are facing drug-related DUI charges in Atlanta,  Marietta, Canton, or Lawrenceville, the experienced attorneys at The Dickerson Firm can help you beat your DUI Drug charge.

DUI-Drugs Less-Safe

An individual under the influence of any drug can be charged with DUI-Drugs. Georgia law considers someone under the influence if they are impaired to the extent that it is “less safe” for them to drive.

When prosecuting a DUI-Drugs Less-Safe charge, the state does not have to prove a person had a particular level of drugs in their system; prosecution is possible even if the driver refused the state-administered chemical test. In place of a test result, the state can prove the drug-related DUI charge with evidence of impairment, such as:

  • Admissions of drug use;
  • Personal appearance indicating drug use (e.g. bloodshot eyes, dilated or constricted pupils);
  • Slurred or frantic speech;
  • Erratic driving;
  • Poor field sobriety test performance; and
  • The presence of drugs in the vehicle.

Further, legally prescribed controlled substances and over-the-counter (OTC) medication can also be grounds for a DUI-Drugs charge if they have been used in a way that impairs a person's driving ability. As a result, being legally entitled to use a drug is not a defense to a DUI-Drugs charge in Georgia.

“Per Se” Drug DUI Charges

If an individual takes a chemical test and the results show that they had drugs in their system, they might be charged with per se DUI-Drugs. The per se law prohibits driving with any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance, including drug metabolites and derivatives, in the blood or urine. In a per se case, there is an exception for drug use that's lawful (e.g. prescription drugs). However, if the use rendered the person “incapable of driving safely” (as mentioned above) they may still be convicted for per se DUI-Drugs.

What are the Penalties for DUI-Drug Charge in Georgia?

The criminal penalties for drugged driving are basically the same as those for alcohol-based DUI charges, with a few differences. Note that for subsequent DUI convictions, Georgia considers a “look back” period (how far apart in time past convictions occurred). Georgia has two look-back periods – a 10-year period for criminal penalties, and a 5-year period for driver's license penalties. This means a DUI conviction will be considered a second conviction for license purposes only if a person had another DUI conviction within the previous 5 years.

First Offense:

  • Up to 12 months in the county jail, with part of that time spent on probation.
  • Fines range from $300-$1,000
  • 40 hours of community service work
  • License suspensions for a period of 180 days

Second Offense:

  • Up to 12 months in the county jail, with part of that time spent on probation.
  • Fines range from $600-$1,000
  • 30 days of community service.
  • License suspensions up to a year

Additional Penalty Information

  • During probation, the defendant will be required to pay a supervision fee, and the probation officer will monitor them throughout the probationary period to ensure they're completing all the required terms of the sentence.
  • Individuals must also attend the DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (“Risk Reduction Program”), which is a 20-hour course that costs over $350. Note that this course is one of the requirements for getting a license reinstated by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
  • Individuals must further participate in a clinical evaluation for alcohol or drug dependency. If the clinical evaluator determines that they need treatment, they'll have to complete the recommended number of counseling sessions as part of their sentence.
  • There is also no early reinstatement available, as well as no limited driving permit allowed for a drug DUI. Second DUI-Drug offenders will face a “hard suspension” of their license, meaning they won't be allowed to drive for 12 months. If the person enters an alternative sentencing program like a DUI or Drug Court, they may be eligible for a limited permit.

The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys Can Defend Your DUI-Drug Charge

If you are facing a drug-related DUI charge, contact an experienced attorney immediately. A lawyer can help you argue for mitigated charges. Let The Dickerson Firm – DUI and Drug Defense Attorneys handle your drugged DUI and fight for your defense, whether you've been charged with DUI-Drugs Less-Safe or Per Se Drug-DUI.

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Contact Us Today

The Dickerson Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI Defense and Drug Crime Defense law issues in Lawrenceville and Marietta Georgia.

We offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.