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DUI in Georgia: First Offense DUI Penalties, Consequences

By: Cory Yager, Ex-Police Officer and Award-Winning Atlanta DUI Lawyer Near Me for a DUI Atlanta GA

First DUI in Georgia. Many potential clients facing a DUI charge in GA who are a first-time offender DUI, Georgia call our law firm voicing concern about Georgia DUI penalties and (if convicted) the DUI consequences. Their apprehension is well-founded, starting with the potential DUI license suspension GA due to a serious motor vehicle crime.

What are the penalties for DUI in Georgia? Some cheap DUI lawyers in GA only talk about the low fine and the criminal defense attorney possibly being able to get the prosecutor to agree to no additional jail time for the clients that they intend to plead guilty. They explain taking the 20-hour risk reduction program.

The low-cost lawyers answer questions that their clients ask, like, “What is the fine for a DUI in Georgia?” or “How long is the DUI license suspension Georgia?” Plus, the cheap DUI attorneys will focus on the fact that a limited driving permit will allow the person to drive to work and transport their children.

The DUI sentence in GA, at least for those facing a true first offender DUI Georgia, are just a small “blip” on the radar. The TRUE cost of DUI in Georgia only becomes apparent later and can cost a person hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) if future potential income.

After ANY DUI ARREST, you only have 30 days to either appeal or opt for the 12-month IID (ignition interlock device) option. Free initial lawyer consultation to help protect your ability to drive, so call today at 404-567-5515.

WARNING: Before we go further, to PROTECT your DRIVER’S LICENSE, let’s talk about requesting a hearing with the Georgia DDS, or opting to install (and exclusively drive) only one (1) vehicle with a 12-month ignition interlock device (IID) attached. You only HAVE 30 DAYS after arrest to do one or the other, to SAVE your driving privileges. So, call today for our FREE legal advice about what is BEST for your case. 404-567-5515.

How much is Bond for DUI in Georgia? Each jurisdiction sets these amounts, and it is derived by assigning a bond amount for each traffic ticket. With just a single, minor traffic violation and a 1st offense DUI, this runs about $1800 to $2500.

Some will naively ask, “What is the penalty for first offense DUI in Georgia?” or “How much is a DUI ticket in Georgia?” Little do they know that even a 1st offense DUI in GA never comes off your criminal history.

DUI in Georgia; First Offense DUI; Even a 1st DUI never comes off your criminal record. Don't hire a cheap DUI attorney to plead you guilty. Fight to keep your record clear of any DUI convictions.

How bad can a 1st DUI in Georgia be? Don’t underestimate the potential future damage of DUI convictions in Georgia. A first time DUI offense in Georgia can create employment, travel and opportunity barriers for your future.

A conviction of a DUI in Georgia 1st offense carries a moderate criminal law punishment and little (if any additional DUI jail time. For driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs conviction, the DUI fine in GA is very moderate. However, the lifetime criminal record and resulting license suspension after a conviction on DUI charges can wreak havoc in your life.

What is considered a DUI in Georgia? Initially, when DUI laws were enacted nearly a century ago, the State had to prove that the driver was rendered “less safe” to drive, due to the alcohol consumed. In the last 60 years, a second type of DUI called “DUI per se,” allows for a conviction when the driver is “over the legal limit,” as revealed in a post-arrest forensic breath or blood test.

Being convicted of DUI is like dragging a ball and chain behind you to the rest of your life. Hire a true expert DUI lawyer to fight your DUI case.

Is a DUI a felony in GA? A DUI first offense GA criminal violation will remain on your criminal record FOR LIFE. This is one of the only crimes for which the first offender act is specifically embargoed from being used. Because convictions under GA DUI laws cannot be expunged, including a first offense DUI, our DUI Atlanta law firm stays busy fighting all our clients’ driving under the influence offenses.

The Georgia DUI law is found in O.C.G.A. 40-6-391. Below is a DUI chart Georgia infographic that covers not just a first offense DUI, but all levels of DUI punishment for felony or misdemeanor DUI in Georgia.

This only covers Georgia DUI sentencing guidelines, for misdemeanor driving under the influence and for a 4th felony DUI, within ten (10) years. Yet, this graphic is merely an overview of court-related DUI punishments, not the “impact to life” costs.

DUI chart Georgia created by William C. Head. He wrote the book on Georgia DUI Laws in 1995, and is still a co-author. If you get arrested in 2021 or 2022, the last thing you need in the Pandemic is to be prevented from getting your ideal job, because you have a DUI in GA on your record..

Georgia DUI Laws: What Happens When You Get a DUI in Georgia?

Not only can violating DUI laws Georgia affect your car insurance premiums, but your entire insurance rating (e.g., for life insurance) can be affected. So, the list of DUI penalties Georgia creeps into your pocketbook in many ways, and for many years.

By contrast, a boating under the influence (BUI) Georgia has no impact on your GA DDS driving privileges. However, a conviction for a Georgia BUI charge can cost you the ability to operate a vessel of any type, for a full year.

DUI lawyer Cory Yager, ex-police officer and now criminal defense attorney Atlanta, covering the entire state of Georgia when clients need his expert help. Rated at the top lawyer ratings by Martindale-Hubbell, the nation's oldest legal directory.

Until convicted, no permanent criminal record for conviction of a drunk driving offense exists. This pertains to driving under the influence charges by means of being impaired by alcohol or drugs. A DUI attorney knows that raising legal challenges to the evidence and having court rulings on the record are crucial to fighting a DUI successfully.

Avoiding conviction for a DUI in Georgia is the objective, so do not trust that difficult task to just any DUI lawyers near me. Even if you were unaware that all roadside sobriety tests are NOT scientific and are voluntary, you know it now. Even if you attempted the bogus tests, our criminal lawyers near me can usually assist accused citizens.

Being charged with DUI is NOT a conviction! While our Atlanta DUI attorneys focus on NOT allowing you to get convicted of DUI, people always ask us about the penalties if convicted. Adult drivers on a DUI first offense in 5 years can get a certificate of first conviction.

Every DUI will cause a DUI Driver's License Suspension if you FAIL to act within 30 days to either have an ignition interlock installed for 12 months or file an appeal fo DDS GA.

Being charged with DUI is NOT a conviction! While our Atlanta DUI attorneys focus on NOT allowing you to get convicted of DUI, people always ask us about the penalties if convicted. The DUI statute (O.C.G.A. 40-6-391) mandates these categories of 1st DUI punishment and mandatory minimum DUI penalties (for each category) that cannot be waived.

  • Jail time of 24 hours or more, if the chemical test of blood alcohol or breath alcohol is 0.08 grams percent or more;
  • DUI fines in Georgia = $300 to $1000 fine, but surcharges typically double the fine amount;
  • Completion of a 20-hour DUI defensive driving course called “Risk Reduction,” which is our state’s DUI school;
  • Community service of at least 40 hours in a first DUI case;
  • License suspension for 120 days, but some first offenders ages 21 and over can get a limited permit immediately; and
  • Probation of 12 months, minus any days served in jail following your DUI arrest.
  • Most judges will order that the probationer be assessed for alcohol or drug problems with substance abuse, especially in a DUI drugs case.

Why We Fight! Our DUI Defense Attorneys Seek a Non-DUI Solution

Until and unless convicted, no permanent criminal record for conviction of a drunk driving offense exists. A DUI attorney knows that raising legal challenges to the evidence and having court rulings on the record are crucial to fighting a DUI successfully. Avoiding conviction for a DUI in Georgia is the objective, so do not trust that difficult task to just any DUI lawyers near me.

Our DUI Law Firm Near Me In Fulton County GA or Cobb County GA can assist you in protecting your right to drive and in fighting the criminal case against you. Call today, 24 hours a day.

If you face an administrative license suspension for DUI refusal (not agreeing to take the requested breath alcohol test under implied consent law), Georgia offers NO hardship license at all. Some Georgia drivers may opt to install a 12-month ignition interlock device, but this option is highly risky and cumbersome. win the administrative hearing.

If you opt to fight the pending suspension and lose the appeal, you face a year of not driving. A GA DDS appeal to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (Georgia DDS) could go against you. This creates a one-year suspension.

To read about the changes in Georgia DUI laws and implied consent, review Bubba Head’s 7 Steps to Saving Your Right to Drive.

Call Today for Atlanta DUI Lawyers and Their 24-7 Professional Legal Help

Our three law partners are all published national book authors. Not other three person law firm in Georgia can claim that. Why not call the DUI lawyers who wrote the BOOKS? All three partners have been recognized by Super Lawyers.

Our legal book authors are Georgia Super Lawyers and are well-versed on drunk driving as any Georgia attorneys. For a FREE lawyer consultation, call 404-567-5515 today.

Let us help you make the RIGHT decision about fighting your case. If you are interested in aggressively FIGHTING to keep a DUI off your permanent record, call today for your FREE consultation.

Our new main office location is in north Fulton County, at 5560 Roswell Road, Bldg H, Suite 210, Sandy Springs, GA 30342, about a quarter mile from where Georgia 400 and I-285 intersect. Located just south of I-285 and accessed from Roswell Road, our law office is accessed through the parking deck, within the third level (P3) level.

Our front entrance is sheltered from weather conditions by the Prado P4 parking deck that is directly in front of the Target store. From our office windows, we can see the Lifetime Fitness Center pool. Our entrance is one level down, at P3.

Three law partners, Cory Yager, William Head and Larry Kohn. Attorneys Kohn and Yager have been with Bubba Head since graduating law school and passing the Bar. In fact, Mr. Kohn started in 1996, while still a law student, as his law clerk.

Easy access to Interstate 285 and Georgia 400 makes our office an ideal central location for getting to all Metro Atlanta criminal courts. In less than ten minutes, our lawyers can reach the DeKalb County line, the Cobb County line, and the Gwinnett County line from our law office.


Some of Our Busiest Municipal Courts:

Sandy Springs Municipal Court

Roswell Municipal Court

Atlanta Municipal Court

Marietta Municipal Court

Alpharetta Municipal Court

Athens Municipal Court (Athens-Clarke County Municipal Court)


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5600 Roswell Rd
Building H, #210
Sandy Springs, GA 30342
(404) 567-5515
235 Peachtree Street NE
Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 567-5515
in Cobb County, GA:
109 Anderson Street
Suite 103
Marietta, GA 30060
(888) 274-6288
in North Fulton County, GA:
33 S Main St
Suite 302
Alpharetta, GA 30009
(844) 867-2889