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  1. What You Need To Know About Impaired Driving Laws In Georgia

    Georgia’s impaired driving laws follow the standard of DUI and not OUI. That means you have to be driving a vehicle under the influence to be violating the laws. (Not always true: you can get a DUI merely by sitting in your car with the engine off, and with your keys visible to the police officer.) The term “influence” includes both drug and alcohol influence, separate or together. If you’re drinking and driving in, say Atlanta, you may end up in jail even for a first offense. Call in a criminal defence lawyer to avoid that.

    Here are a few things you should know about the impaired driving laws in Georgia.

    • What Should Be The BAC Level?

    A BAC level of 0.08% in Georgia makes you an offender of DUI laws. This BAC should be checked by an officer within 3 hours of your driving. However, exceeding that 3 hour limit doesn’t necessarily negate the officer’s claim of your impaired driving.

    • Can I Be Charged With BAC Under 0.08% ?

    Yes. You can easily be charged even with a BAC level under 0.08%. This is because Georgia follows two standards under its DUI laws : DUI less safe and DUI “per se”. While DUI per se requires you to have a BAC of 0.08% or above, DUI less safe depends upon your driving performance under a  lower BAC. if the officer is convinced that your driving is not safe even with a lower BAC, you can be charged with DUI and face penalties including license suspension.

    • Underage Laws

    For young drivers aged 15 to 21, the BAC level in Georgia is .02%. Anything above that can lead to license suspension for 6 months. For those drivers who were planning to get their official Georgia driver’s license soon,, the process shall be delayed 12 months. In case of BAC over 0.08%, the person is prosecuted as an adult and faces criminal conviction.

    • Will I Serve Jail Time?

    Since DUI is a criminal offense in Georgia, even a first-time offender can be sentenced to jail time up to 1 year. However, the judge may use his or her discretion to not award any jail sentence, and impose probation instead. But, in case of BAC over 0.08%, serving jail time of 24 hours is mandatory. A repeat offender may be facing 3 to 5 years of jail time depending on when was their last DUI  and how many DUI convictions they already have, typically a 5year-lookback period

    • What Happens to My License

    Georgia’s Department of Driver Services is liable for Administrative Suspension of license in any DUI case or otherwise. DDS can suspend the license even without any court hearing and conviction in case of a BAC over 0.08%  if it is convinced that your driving was unsafe due to intoxication. In case of any refusal to take the chemical test, DDS can immediately suspend your license for 1 year or more.

    • How Much Is the Fine?

    If you are a first-time offender, you are facing a minimum fine of $300, which can go up to $ 1000. A second time offender also faces fines of up to $1000. Other repeat offenders may have to pay fines up to $5000 in case of repetition within 5 years of previous offence.

    • How Do I Get My License Back?

    To get your license reinstated, you’ll have to complete all the penalties imposed after your conviction including a mandatory alcohol education program which may be accompanied with counseling or treatment in cases of alcohol/drug abuse. Your license reinstatement will require you to produce certificate from an education program and complete the suggested number of  counseling sessions or therapy. These requirements, along with a$210 reinstatement fee, means you can get your license back. Early reinstatement is also permitted unless it’s a DUI Drugs case.

    • Any Alcohol Containers In The Car (Open Container Violation)?

    Driving in Atlanta with no considerable BAC level but an open or seal-broken can of alcohol may land you in a DUI case. However, you may be saved if the contents of the can are not removed even partially. Georgia laws prohibit opening or consuming any alcoholic beverage container in the car while driving on public highways, even in the passenger seat, unless it’s a transportation vehicle and the passenger area is separated from the driving area.

    • Ignition Interlock

    An ignition interlock can be imposed on a repeat offender (repeating within 5 years of previous offense) to permit them limited driving. However, the court may not subject the offender to it in case the offender is unable to afford an ignition lock due to poor economic condition.

    Bubba Head Specializes In DUI Laws And Provides You With Expert Legal Representation To Help You Get The Best Outcome For Your Case. Our Qualified Attorneys Help You Avoid Any Unjustified Penalties And Infringement Of Your Rights. If You or a Loved One Is Charged With Impaired Driving, contact us right away.

    You Can Easily Get A Free DUI case review Today. Simply Give Us A Call At our 24×7 helpline number 404-567-5515.

  2. Live in Georgia? Know Your State’s DUI Laws

    Drunk driving laws in the US vary from state to state. There are many terms or acronyms used for drunk driving, and every state defines these acronyms differently.

    Every year, drunk driving costs the lives of thousands of people, and stricter laws are being implemented to prevent these deaths. Georgia is one of the states with harsh DUI laws and the government includes all kinds of measures to help curb these accidents.

    If charged with DUI in Georgia, you may have to hire a criminal attorney.

    Driving or Operating – Can You Get a DUI If Your Car is Turned Off?

    There are usually 2 standards that states follow: Driving and Operating. DUI, DWI and other driving charges require the person to be driving to be prosecuted, while in operating charges, the person can be charged even if they’re not driving. If the key is in the ignition, whether the vehicle is pulled over or the driver isn’t even in the vehicle, he or she can be charged with an OUI. Georgia follows the “Driving” standard.

    What’s the Difference Between DUI “Less Safe” and DUI “Per Se”?

    In Georgia, there are two ways to violate the law: DUI less safe and DUI “per se”.
    While a person can be charged with Impairment DUI based on if the arresting officer is convinced that the driver is impaired enough to be a less safe driver, a DUI “per se” is charged after the chemical test shows the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC0 to be 0.08% or over.

    Implied Consent Warning

    A driver’s license in the US is not a constitutional right. It is a privilege given by the state of residence, and that state reserve the rights to revoke this privilege if it deems you to be not responsible enough, which is determined by their chemical tests.

    When the driving license is issued, you automatically give your implied consent to be checked for impairment by an officer whenever and wherever they deem necessary while you’re driving. If you refuse, your license can be immediately suspended.

    Administrative License Suspension

    In any DUI case in Georgia, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) takes care of the license suspension. It can and does so without any criminal court hearing and conviction. It is called an administrative license suspension.

    Penalties for Impaired Driving in GA

    These penalties are handed down by the court and a convicted driver faces multiple penalties, the severity of which depends on the degree of the damage caused, behavior of the convicted, whether it’s a repeat offence or not, and other such factors.

    • Fines: The fines imposed depend on the repetition of the offense. A first or second time offender faces a $1000 fine while a third and fourth time offender can get fined up to $5000.
    • Jail Time: Jail time is also dependent upon whether the offense is first time or a repetition. A first timer can be sentenced about 12 months in county jail. A repeat offender can be sentenced up to 5 years depending on the number of repeats.
    • Community Service: 40 hours of Community service is penalty sentenced to offenders, mandatory for all, repeat DUI offender or not.
    • Education Course: Repeat offenders are sentenced with a mandatory attendance at a 20-hour alcohol education program in any of the approved DUI schools meant to prevent drunk driving. A certificate from these schools is necessary to reinstate your license.
    • Assessment and Treatment: Repeat offenders are required to get clinically evaluated for their alcohol or drug dependency, and if the evaluator decides the offender needs treatment or counselling, the offender has to mandatorily get the treatment recommended.

    According to the latest laws, DUI offenders can get an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle to get a limited driving license. However, it is only permitted for repeat offenders. Keep in mind, repeat offenders can get their vehicle confiscated as well. A 4-time offender faces felony charges in Georgia.

    DUI Drugs

    In case of involvement of drugs in DUI charges, the offender can face a 180-day license suspension in addition to a criminal sentence in court. Both early reinstatement of your license and limited driving are not allowed fr DUI drugs convicts.

    Underage Drinking – Minor in Possession (MIP)

    Georgia DDS follows a zero-tolerance policy for underage drunk driving cases. A BAC of 0.02% in such cases can lead to suspension of license for 6 months. In the case of a BAC level 0.08% or more, the offender shall be prosecuted under a criminal case like an adult.

    Good legal representation and guidance can help bring a positive outcome in court. Bubba Head and his law partners provides you with just that. At William C. Head PC, we provide you with the best lawyers to help you through your DUI case. Our Atlanta attorneys are well-versed in Georgia DUI laws they will ensure a due process, and they will provide the best outcome possible for your case.

    If you are facing a DUI charge, contact us today at (404) 567-5515 24 hours a day.

    Get a free review of your DUI case here.