Georgia law O.C.G.A. §40-6-391 defines legal intoxication as having a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. However, you can still be arrested for DUI even if your blood alcohol is below .08% for being impaired or a ‘Less Safe’ driver. You can also be arrested and charged with DUI if you are driving under the influence of a drug—including legally prescribed prescription drugs.
A conviction for driving under the influence, even if it’s your first offense, comes with severe penalties. It could lead to 40 hours of community service, a $300-$1000 fine plus surcharges and court fees, time in jail, probation and loss of driver’s license for up to one year. A conviction for drunk driving in Georgia also results in a criminal record. Having a criminal record may also affect future work or schooling opportunities.
The penalties become harsher with each additional DUI offense within a ten year period. A fourth arrest is filed as a felony, called “habitual violator”, which could result in the revocation of your driver’s license for 10 years, a $5000 fine and a 5 year jail sentence.
In additional to the criminal penalties associated with a DUI, if you have been arrested for DUI and you do not request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten business days, your license will be suspended—EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN CONVICTED OF DUI! In addition to a written request for an administrative hearing, you must pay a $150 fee at the time of your request. Failure to include this fee with the request for a license hearing will also lead to the suspension of your driving privileges.
The length and conditions of your license suspension will revolve around the individual circumstances of your case. Knowing all of the laws and legal requirements is extremely important. Experience matters when hiring a DUI attorney!
Lindsay Reese has extensive experience handling DUI cases and administrative hearings throughout Georgia. Contact her now for aggressive and reliable defense!