Georgia DUI

What Happens To First Time DUI Offenders in Georgia?

There are two classifications for a DUI charge in the state of Georgia. A DUI offender can be classified as a less safe driver, based on demeanor, manner of arrest and arresting circumstances. You may also be classified as a per se DUI arrest depending on the BAC results of a breathalyzer or chemical test.

The Less Safe or impaired driver by alcohol or drugs and DUI by test result exhibiting unlawful Alcohol level both carry sentencing protocol and will cost a minimum of $300 to $1000 fine, a minimum of 24 hours jail time served from a 10 day penitentiary sentence, 12 months of DUI probation and a required 40 hours of community service rendered. Upon conviction, a defendant will lose their drivers license for the duration of twelve months with an early reinstatement after completing a DUI school program and payment of a $200 fee after 120 days but with a limited work permit if approved by Georgia. The ALS or Administrative License Suspension for first time DUI’s require a request for an administrative hearing from the defendant, 10 days upon the arrest.

The state of Georgia allows law enforcement to make an arrest under a DUI suspicion without a BAC test. IF you appear as a less safe driver you will be charged with a DUI even if your BAC results are less than the court ordered prerequisite which is .08%. Jail Sentencing is a standard of 10 days to one year, with all except for the mandatory 24 hours eligible for sentence suspension. For “less safe” offenders, the 24 hour jail time may be waved upon court discretion, upon pleading guilty where you will be placed on a twelve month probation instead.

Georgia law dictates a mandatory 40 hours of community service for adults, while minors are required at least 20 hours of community service if convicted. The judge determines the community service hours. There is an automatic suspension for a license if the offender fails to request for an administrative hearing within 10 days upon arrest. All license suspensions can be revoked after completing 120 days of the suspension period and completion of an alcohol and drug risk reduction school plus a payment of fees amounting to $200.

Under 21 DUI in Georgia

BAC levels for convicted offenders under the age of 21 are .02% and above. There is no incarceration but a license revocation of 6 to 12 months with no limited driving permit is mandated by court ruling. The minor will also need to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service.

DUI charges in Georgia

While most people have a basic understanding of driving under the influence (DUI), there are many facts that could come as a surprise to those accused of this serious crime. However, the most important fact you should remember at this time is that a drunk-driving arrest does not always lead to a conviction. If you are currently facing DUI charges in Georgia, a skilled defense attorney could increase the odds of a favorable resolution.

DUI offenses fall into two categories: less safe and per se. In a less safe case, the prosecutor must prove that your driving ability was compromised by the use of alcohol and/or drugs through the use of officer and eye witness testimony. Because these observations are entirely subjective, fighting a less safe DUI is certainly possible with the right defense lawyer on your side.

Georgia Per Se DUI

A “per se” DUI is based on your blood alcohol content (BAC) when you were operating a vehicle. For drivers over 21, the legal limit is .08%; however, it is reduced for underage and commercial drivers (.02% and .04%, respectively). Even if your driving was not impaired, your BAC is enough for a drunk-driving conviction. For this type of case, your lawyer may look into your breathalyzer or blood test to look for errors or factors that could have produced an inaccurate reading.

Another fact is that there are numerous defenses that can be used to help a person accused of drunk driving. For example, you have certain rights against illegal search and seizure–even when suspected of committing a crime. If the officer violated any of your rights during the DUI stop or arrest, these are grounds for a case dismissal.

Here’s a fact that many don’t know about DUI in Georgia – you could lose your license within a month if you fail to submit a hearing with the Department of Driver Services (DDS) within 10 days of your arrest. This is an administrative penalty, which means it is entirely separate from any sentence you may receive in criminal court. However, if your DDS hearing is successful, you will be able to retain your driving privileges.

Felony DUI in Georgia

While many people think of driving under the influence (DUI) as a misdemeanor, it can be bumped up to a felony offense depending on the circumstances. A felony DUI carries several life-altering penalties, including imprisonment in a state penitentiary as well as a lengthy probation period. If you are currently facing Georgia felony charges, you must immediately contact a DUI defense attorney to begin fighting your case.

A change to Georgia’s DUI statutes made it a felony offense to receive four DUI convictions after July 2008. If found guilty, you can be sentenced to at least one year in prison as well as a five-year probation period.

Committing other crimes while driving under the influence could result in additional criminal charges–some of which may be classified as a felony! For example, if you cause a vehicle collision resulting in serious personal injury or wrongful death, you could be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison for each offense.

A felony conviction can also take away rights that you may have taken for granted. For example, you could be denied the right to own firearms or even vote. You will also be ineligible to work in certain fields, such as education or government. In addition, you may also face difficulties when applying for housing, loans, even schools.

At this time, you still have a chance to fight your DUI charges. A skilled defense lawyer can carefully review your the circumstances of your arrest to uncover flaws with the prosecution’s case. For example, there may have been an error with your blood alcohol content (BAC) reading or there may be evidence that the accident was not your fault


The laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia are taken very seriously by both law enforcement agencies and the courts; in fact, even a first offense could result in jail time as well as other severe consequences. If you have recently been charged with violating any of Georgia’s DUI statutes, you should immediately obtain qualified legal counsel in order to begin preparing your defense.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Laws

According to Georgia’s “per se” law, a driver may be charged with DUI even if his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle was not compromised; in fact, being over the legal limit can be enough for the prosecution to secure a conviction. Georgia’s BAC limits are based on the age of the driver as well as the type of license the driver holds. The “per se” limit for a driver over 21 is .08%, while a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder may be charged with a BAC of .04% or higher if he or she was operating a commercial vehicle at the time of arrest.

The state’s Zero Tolerance laws substantially reduces the legal limit for underage drivers to .02%; however, if a driver under the age of 21 has a BAC of .08% or higher, he or she can face a standard drunk-driving charge in addition to an under 21 charge.

If a driver operates a vehicle with a BAC of .15% or higher, he or she could face enhanced penalties, which may include a longer driver’s license suspension as well as increased jail time and court fines.

Georgia Implied Consent Law

The BAC reading is very important to the prosecution when trying a DUI case. For this reason, the state can impose harsh consequences on those who refuse to take the breathalyzer or blood test. According to Georgia’s Implied Consent law, drivers are obligated to comply with the officer’s request for a chemical test if suspected of intoxicated driving. Failure to take these tests may result in an automatic license suspension and could be used as admission of guilt during a criminal trial.

DUI Penalties in Georgia

The penalties for a Georgia DUI are based on the amount of drunk-driving offenses on your record as well as other factors (such as causing an alcohol-related accident or transporting a minor while impaired). For a first offense, you may be sentenced to a one-year license suspension. The license suspension increases for each subsequent offense: three years for a second conviction and five years for a third conviction.

In addition to a license suspension, the court may sentence you to a mandatory minimum jail sentence. While the judge may increase the period of imprisonment, he cannot go below the minimum sentencing guidelines. You could also be ordered to attend alcohol education, assessment, and treatment. Vehicle-related penalties include the installation of an ignition interlock device and vehicle impoundment.

Get DUI Help: Repeat Offenses for Georgia DUI Arrests

Georgia laws that were ratified on July 1, 2008: DUI has imposed harsher punishment for routine DUI offenders. Whereas Georgia DUI laws have constantly placed elevated DUI penalties on persons convicted for recurring DUI offenses, this latest DUI decree places larger importance on punishment and alteration for those who carry on to get convicted for drunk driving. The General Assembly approved legislation raising the penalty for driving under the influence in the state of Georgia. The latest regulation aims at sternly disciplining repeat drunk driving lawbreakers. First time offenders are also affected by the new regulation. Aside from being court-ordered to complete driving competency program, paying fines and completing community service, convicted offenders with drinking and driving in Georgia must pass an evaluation for alcohol exploitation and be present at a treatment program.

Since the State of Georgia practices a looking window policy, previous arrests and conviction of DUI related charges from your parent or Georgia neighboring states are taken into consideration when measuring the degree and kind of DUI charge filed on your account.

In Georgia, the interlude of instance in which a judge can evaluate an offender’s documentation (the “look-back” period) is five to ten years. With the DUI statute in place, all arrests made after July 1, 2008 will be subject to a look-back period of ten years compared to the previous five year look back window. Fundamentally, this means that it is a challenge to be tagged as a first-offender if you have a previous DUI charge. In addition, a fourth DUI arrest will result in felony charges and felony and will be tried as such.

Hire an experienced Georgia DUI Attorney

The most important aspect of your defense is hiring a law firm that has a deep understanding of the Georgia DUI laws that govern conviction, plea bargaining, appeal and sentencing for Georgia. For experienced Georgia DUI lawyers or drunken driving defense attorneys, go to the right Georgia DWI attorney that has a profound understanding of DWI laws in Georgia and gain a reliable drunk driving defense. The first consultation is completely confidential and will be free of charge.

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