In Georgia, there are two ways a driver can be in violation of are the driving under the influence (DUI) laws.
1) DUI - You are driving and an officer determines you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
2) DUI "Per Se" - You are driving and your chemical test (blood, or breath) result is 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher.
"Under the Influence"
You can be in violation of the DUI laws if you are considered "under the influence." Here, the Georgia District Attorney would need to prove you were driving after having consumed alcohol or drugs, or a combination, and you weren't able to drive your vehicle safely. You can be found guilty of DUI even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is less than 0.08. Usually your driving and/or field sobriety tests show you are mentally or physically impaired.
DUI "Per Se"
The second way a driver can violate the DUI law is if his BAC is 0.08 or more. When that happens, it gives rise to a fancy legal phrase called a "rebuttable presumption." Basically, if your BAC is .08 or higher, it's probably going to spell trouble for your case.
DUIs Carry Two Separate Penalties
When you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, you'll have to deal with both your criminal case and your separate license suspension. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will handle your license suspension pursuant to the implied consent laws and the Georgia criminal courts will take care of your criminal penalties.
In other words, what happens in court won't have any bearing on the status of your driver's license and vice versa. Neither one impacts the other.
Potential DUI Consequences
The Georgia courts impose criminal penalties including:
The DDS imposes administrative penalties including:
Remember, the higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties may be. Multiple convictions will also result in harsher sentences.
|Code Sections||Ga. Code 40-6-391|
Over 21: 0.08; Commercial Drivers: 0.04%
|What is Prohibited?||
1) (DUI) You are driving and determined to be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
2) You are driving and your chemical test (blood, or breath) result is 0.08%. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher.
|Implied Consent||Yes. If you refuse a test, automatic driver's license suspension of one year.|
||BAC .15 or Higher|
Zero Tolerance, BAC 0.02% or higher, Driver's License Revocation minimum of six (6) months and fines. If your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you will face the same penalties as an adult.
Typical DUI Sentences
1st Offense: Up to one year jail, fine up to $1,000, up to one year license suspension, 40 hours of community service, probation and a DUI education course;
2nd Offense: Up to one year jail, fine up to $1,000, up to three (3) years license suspension, 40 hours of community service, probation, DUI education course or substance abuse treatment, and possible Ignition Interlock Device;
3rd Offense: Up to one year jail, Fine $1,000-$5,000, up to five (5) years license suspension, 40 hours of community service, probation, DUI education course or substance abuse treatment, and possible Ignition Interlock Device;
4th Offense: Felony, one to five years in state prison, up to a $5,000 fine.
Georgia DUI Resources
Get Legal Help with Your DUI Case in Georgia
It's best to never drink or use drugs and drive. Select a designated driver ahead of time who will stay sober. If you're impaired and don't have a designated driver, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. But if you do find yourself facing a DUI in Georgia, it's a good idea to get in touch with a local DUI attorney to learn about your options moving forward.
Contact a qualified attorney.