The Process And Consequences of DUI & Drunk Driving Under Georgia Law
It is a difficult and scary process when you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Though it varies in each of the 50 states, some of the things you will face are similar across the country. However, under Georgia law, there is a fairly rigid process in place to adjudicate DUI and drunk driving cases, and it is a good idea for you to be familiar with it, if for any reason you are stopped by an officer of the law under suspicion of driving under the influence.
The legal limit for blood alcohol content under Georgia law is .08 if you are an adult over the age of 21. If you are younger than 21 and stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, your blood alcohol content cannot be more than .02, and if you are a commercial driver possessing a Class A or B license, you cannot have more than a .04 blood alcohol level while driving commercial vehicles.
Georgia takes a tough stance with drunk driving, and they have a strong “open container” law that prevents any open container that has or had alcohol in it to be in a moving vehicle on a public road. The first offense of the open container law is a $200 fine.
When you are tried and found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, there is a progressive series of punishments that you will be sentenced with, depending on your previous offenses.
For the first conviction of driving under the influence in Georgia, you will face between 10 days and one year in jail and a fine between $300 and $1,000. You will also have your driver’s license suspended for one year, be sentenced to a minimum of 40 hours of community service and it will cost you $210 to reinstate your driver’s license upon completion of your sentence.
For a second offense, Georgia law becomes much more punitive. You can be sentenced to between 90 days and one year in jail, a fine between $600 and $1,000, have your driver’s license suspended for three years and be made to serve 30 days of community service. At the court’s discretion, you may also have an ignition interlock device placed in your car and be ordered to undergo counseling.
For a third conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, you face a jail sentence of between 120 days and one year. You will also face a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, have your driver’s license suspended for five years, and have your picture featured in the local newspaper with details of your conviction. In addition, you will be ordered to undergo counseling and serve a minimum of 30 days of community service.
If you are convicted of a DUI for a fourth time, Georgia now considers it a felony. This means that you will face a five-year prison sentence, up to a $5,000 fine, a minimum of 60 days of community service and mandatory alcohol counseling.
Our Columbus lawyers handle the following Georgia DUI cases and vehicle offenses:
- GA DUI – Drunk driving
- Minor Drunk driving
- Running red light
- No registration
- No license
- Open container
- Vehicular homicide
- Improper movement
- Hit and run
- ALS hearings
- Traffic cases