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Georgia DUI Laws: DUI Conviction Penalties, Loss of License

DUI law in Georgia is one of the most complex criminal statutes in the Georgia Code. The Peach State has some of the nation’s toughest drunken driving laws, which are identified in this article. Dozens of different State of Georgia laws play a part in the criminal law and administrative law aspects of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, marijuana, or any other impairing substance.

Why PROCRASTINATION is our Clients’ Worst Enemy. In over 98% of all DUI arrest in GA, a person MUST ACT within 30 days to save her or his right to drive. Plus, our veteran litigators will help you take care of this URGENT issue, give you a free consultation lawyer meeting and (if you hire us) work out a plan for payment of our legal fees over time.

Atlanta DUI lawyers Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager are legal book authors on Georgia DUI Laws. These criminal laws change every year and it takes a top drunk driving attorney to keep up with the smallest changes.  Description automatically generated with medium confidence

By missing this initial loss of all driving privileges “battle,” such failures often cause many people with winnable cases to just give up and not fight their criminal case. Therefore, our legal professionals at offer a FREE lawyer consultation 24 hours a day, and 365 days of the year. Call today at 404-567-5515, to take action to protect your right to drive.

Georgia DUI Penalties. This article (written by our The Georgia DUI Trial Practice Manual) focuses on the importance of fighting DUI charges in Georgia. Our goal (in representing clients) is to fight in all ways possible to prevent an accused client from ever having even a first offense DUI to blemish his or her criminal history.

How much is a DUI ticket in Georgia? This question seems to presuppose that driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs is like an ordinary speeding ticket. Unfortunately, you cannot just go online and pay it.

Every Georgia DUI is a jail offense. The crime is classified as one of Georgia’s serious driving offenses (along with hit and run GA, reckless driving GA and attempting to elude a law enforcement officer). You must go to court and be sentenced.

A DUI in Georgia can result in highly serious consequences like jail time, high fines, license suspension or license revocation (for 3rd or 4th offenders), and many more DUI punishments. In addition, no DUI conviction can ever be expunged, for the rest of that person’s life.

Five Georgia DUI Law Questions That Are Commonly Asked

Here are 5 G DUI law questions our best GA DUI lawyers hear a lot from our happy clients. The questions cover DUI conviction penalties including jail time, driver's license suspension and loss of driving rights.

Below, our legal professionals Larry Kohn, Cory Yager and William Head, provide five (5) answers to the most common questions asked about DUI charges and regarding the mandatory, minimum DUI penalties (if convicted of your charges for DUI GA).

1. What Happens when you get a DUI in Georgia? Through multiple, related statutes (both civil and criminal), a person facing a GA DUI — even a first DUI offense — faces these DUI consequences, but ONLY IF CONVICTED:

(a) you will have your vehicle towed, and must pay towing and storage,

(b) you will go to jail (unless you served enough hours after arrest to satisfy GA DUI law, when you were initially arrested),

(c) most clients must pay a bail bondsman to get out of jail, following their arrest,

(d) will have to be on probation for 12 months (minus any days served in custody),

(e) lose her or his driver’s license and (most devastating of all), although (with quick action after arrest) most first offenders can opt for and pay for an ignition interlock device for twelve months, for acquiring limited privileges to drive.

A GA fierst DUI conviction almost always is classified as a misdemeanor traffic offense but don't let this name fool you. It is a serious crime that requires a serious Atlanta DUI lawyer who has worked with many prosecutors to get a reduction inb charges.

(f) must perform not fewer than 40 hours of community service at a non-profit,

(g) must attend DUI school, which is called a Risk Reduction program (20 hours) to ever be able to drive in Georgia in the future (after 120 days of using a limited permit, for most drivers ages 21 and older),

(h) possibly be required to submit to screening by a state-certified alcohol and drug counselor to explore whether you have any dependency on alcohol or on drugs;

(i) have a permanent criminal conviction for driving under the influence that can never be expunged.

Georgia DUI laws cover many related moving violations like drunk driving, drugged driving, first DUI, multiple DUIs, reckless driving, implied consent, and other crimes.

2. Which DUI laws in GA are the main misdemeanor DUI statutes that I need to read? OCGA 40-6-391, 40-6-392, 40-5-67.1, 40-5-67.2, 40-5-55, 40-5-64.1, and 40-5-63.

3. How much is a D.U.I. in Georgia? Because this depends on fines, license reinstatement issue, legal fees, the cost of DUI school and perhaps an alcohol and drug counselor’s charges, the total cost will vary widely.

Unless the person has a free DUI lawyer (public defender or appointed criminal law attorney, for those who are indigent, the legal fees for a DUI lawyer Atlanta will be the largest expense. Overall, the Georgia DUI first offense penalty requires the lowest fine amounts, as compared to repeat offenses.

4. How much DUI jail time Georgia will I have to serve? See the helpful Georgia DUI Infographic chart of penalties below.

This Georgia DUI Penalty Infographic shows a chart of GA DUI penalties a convicted driver faces if convicted on misdemeanor or felony charges.

5. Is DUI a felony Georgia crime? In many variations on the wording of the same question, “is a DUI a felony in GA?” is routinely asked, especially by those facing their DUI first offense. The answer is YES, but only in limited types of cases, which are outlined in the next section.

Situations Where a Felony DUI Case May Be Charged in GA

4th DUI in 10 years. A DUI can be charged as a felony offense if it is a 4th DUI within 10 years (using dates of arrest to measure). This became part of driving under the influence laws in GA on July 1, 2008.

Child Endangerment DUI. Every child passenger in the vehicle of an arrested DUI driver who is under the age of 14 years, “counts” as an additional DUI charge. So, 3 underage passengers (or more) will trigger one felony DUI accusation. If more than three children are passengers, several felony DUIs will be charged.

Serious Crashes by a DUI driver with another Vehicle or Pedestrian. Also, a felony will be charged if a drunk driver or drugged driver causes injury or death to any other person.

The way GA laws work is that for every injured or dead person, up to 15 years in state prison is possible. Plus, a judge can stack each fifteen years in jail end-to-end. If so, the sentences can run “consecutively,” meaning that each 15 years runs end-to-end.

SIBV or VH cases in Georgia. These felony DUI-DWI accident crimes (which are predicated upon a DUI Georgia) will be accused as either:

(A) S.I.B.V. (serious injury by vehicle) due to DUI under OCGA 40-6-393, or

(B) VH (vehicular homicide GA), as set forth in OCGA 40-6-394. This crime is also called homicide by vehicle in the first degree.

Here are some of the legal books that were written or co-weritten by attorneys Cory Yager, Bubba Head, and Larry Kohn. Titles include 101 Ways to Avoid a Drunk Deriving Conviction and The DUI Book.  Description automatically generated

How to Contact Our DUI Law Firm for Statewide Coverage of DUI Arrests

Being convicted of ANY felony crime can alter that person’s future. Future job acquisition is one obvious place that most convicted felons will find immense challenges. Plus, many options for housing, or obtaining affordable credit terms will be limited.

You need a Georgia DUI attorney who has amassed (for previous clients) more than 1000 successful defenses and have now gained significant experience in defending Georgia DUI cases. To have the best chance of a favorable outcome, doesn’t it make sense to approach DUI defense like you would choosing a surgeon for delicate, life-saving surgery on a loved one?

That’s why it’s so important to hire a top-rated DUI lawyer GA if charged with intoxicated driving. Taking a chance by trying to represent yourself or hiring a cheap DUI lawyer or a general practitioner who is related to you or your spouse can be catastrophic.

Cory Yager, Bubba Head, and Larry Kohn have a collective 87 years of courtroom litigation experience at their Atlanta area DUI law firm in Sandy Springs.  Description automatically generated

First, our lawyers near me in GA will need copies of all your paperwork from the arrest (all charges), and any booking, bonding, and towing records.

Our legal team also will need to have your full name, as shown on your driver’s license, current full address (if different from your plastic license, add that information, too), exact time and date of arrest (as shown on your DUI ticket). This DUI intake short form questionnaire can get you started.

If you did NOT agree to take the post-arrest test of your blood, breath, or urine, you are facing a “refusal” suspension that can take away ALL RIGHT TO DRIVE in Georgia for a full 12 months. So, calling as soon after your arrest as possible is imperative!

Contact our 3 Super Lawyers Right Now, to Obtain Immediate Help

Don’t lose your limited time opportunity to permit our criminal defense attorneys to seek to SAVE your right to keep driving. A 30-day countdown threatens to take away the ability of most drivers (who are arrested for a DUI in GA) to be able to drive.

Two different ways exist for you to be suspended for a full year, with no limited or restricted driving privileges. This harsh and disabling punishment can occur long before your criminal case for impaired driving gets into a criminal law court to be decided.

The GA 30-day DUI deadline means you must file for an administrative hearing with the OSAH within 30 days of your date of arrest or you risk having your driver's license suspended for 12 months.

The first, and most devastating legal sanction, is an administrative license suspension under OCGA 40-5-55 and 40-5-67.1. This is for a “refusal to be tested,” after the officer arrests you for drunk driving or drugged driving. A person can also be suspended for taking the test and yielding an illegally high BAC level (0.08 grams percent or more for adult age drivers), but adult age drivers can receive a limited driving permit in these cases.

The importance of hiring a skilled DUI lawyer from the day of arrest or the next day cannot be overstated! Locating key witnesses or finding important video evidence (before it gets taped over or lost) can make the difference in winning or losing.

Make the call to relieve some of the stress that you are experiencing. Call our DUI Atlanta GA lawyers now, 24-7, to (404) 567-5515.

To read about DUI en Georgia in Spanish, go here.


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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