Though safety advocacy and education efforts have led to a decrease in drunk driving accidents in recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in three U.S. traffic deaths involve a drunk driver. If you’re convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia, there are specific penalties that can be costly and change your life.
Defining DUI in Georgia
All 50 states have specific guidelines and laws about what it means to drive under the influence. In Georgia, it is illegal to drink and operate a vehicle if your blood alcohol content (BAC) meets or exceeds:
- 0.8 percent, if you’re 21 or older and operating a passenger vehicle
- 0.4 percent, if you’re an operator of a commercial vehicle
- 0.2 percent, if you’re a driver under 21 years old
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
In Georgia, a DUI conviction stays on a person’s driving record for life. After a DUI, a driver could lose her license or see it suspended, be made to pay fines or serve jail time, and deal with increased insurance costs. The following defines Georgia’s laws for frequency of offenses:
- First offense. Typically, if the DUI is your first offense, you could face a misdemeanor, but you could also be charged with a felony. In addition to paying a $210 license reinstatement fee after a year, you also face a $300-$1,000 fine and up to 40 hours of community service.
- Second offense. A second offense comes with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 48 hours, but it could be extended to a year. The fine ranges from $600-$1,000. Additionally, license suspension lasts up to three years and comes with up to 30 days of community service.
- Third offense. If you are charged with a DUI three times, you face a minimum of 15 days in jail and 30 days of community service. The minimum fine begins at $1,000 and can reach as high as $5,000. You’ll also be labeled a Habitual Violator and be forced to surrender your license plates.
Additionally, offenders could be required to use ignition interlock devices to prevent DUI, as well as participate in state-sanctioned programs to assist with substance abuse.
Call a Trusted DUI Attorney
If you’ve been accused of a DUI in Georgia, call the legal team at Duffy & Feemster. We have the expertise and experience to ensure you’re treated fairly and represented adequately. To ask questions or discuss the possibility of reducing your DUI charges, call us at 888-707-1197.