Driving under the influence is illegal in Georgia, like in most states. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drivers put both themselves and other people on the road at risk. Here is how to understand Georgia’s DUI law.
In Georgia, there are two ways to get a DUI charge. The first way is if you are driving and an officer determines that you are driving under the influence. The second way is called DUI “per se” which happens when your chemical test, blood or breath, is 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or higher.
If you are considered to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can be in violation of Georgia’s DUI law. In order to be charged with a DUI, driving or field sobriety tests must show that you are mentally or physically impaired. Being charged with a DUI can happen even if your blood alcohol content is less than 0.08%.
There are two consequences for driving under the influence in Georgia, and they are handled by two different departments that don’t affect each other. The two departments are Georgia courts and the Department of Driver Services. Georgia courts will handle jail time, fines, and public service if you are found guilty of driving under the influence. The Department of Driver Services will handle license suspensions or revocations.
There are also some additional parts of the law that affect drivers. If you are over 21 years of age, then your blood alcohol content must not be higher than 0.08%; commercial drivers must have a BAC of 0.04% or lower. Drivers under 21 have a zero tolerance rule, requiring a BAC of 0.02% or less. Refusing a field sobriety test or breathalyzer test can result in an automatic driver’s license suspension of one year.
There are also different types of sentences. For the first offense, a drunk driver may face up to one year in jail, a fine up to $1,000, up to a one year license suspension, 40 hours of community service, probation, and a DUI education course. Repeat offenders may receive up to one year in jail, a fine up to $1,000, up to 3 years of license suspension, 40 hours of community service, probation, DUI education course or substance abuse treatment, and a possible Ignition Interlock Device. The third offense is serious as well, with a fine up to $5,000 and 5 years of license suspension. Four-time offenders receive a felony charge, of one to five years in state prison, and up to a $5,000 fine.
Driving under the influence can only lead to pain and suffering. Make sure that you have a designated driver if you plan on drinking, or a plan to get home.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a DUI, you’ll need to speak with an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury. Here at Greathouse Trial Law, we want to help you understand what your rights are as a victim of a drunk driver.
Contact us today for your free case evaluation. We aim to serve the great people of Atlanta and to give a voice to the voiceless.