Georgia DUI laws are ranked among America’s toughest on DUI penalties and long-term DUI consequences. This ranking is largely due to the lack of applicability of the Georgia first offender act to driving under the influence cases. Plus, no diversion, conditional discharge, or other “1st offender” provisions, nor the ability to expunge a drunk driving conviction, are part of Georgia drunk driving laws. Also, drivers under the age of 21 must deal with State of Georgia DUI laws zero-tolerance.
Like most USA jurisdictions, an automatic license suspension accompanies any conviction on DUI charges in GA. Any conviction under DUI laws in Georgia means that you take that conviction to the grave, and often results in the loss of the person’s Georgia license or an out-of-state driver’s ability to drive in Georgia, subject to certain limited permit rules.
Some callers to our Atlanta DUI office are concerned about DUI fines in Georgia. However, that small financial price is a pittance compared to the permanent criminal record and driver license impact for even a 1st DUI in GA. This page contains two descriptions of DUI penalties that further explain the punitive nature of a GA DUI conviction.
This page provides an overview of the different types of DUI in GA, and the distinction between a DUI per se case and a DUI “less safe” case (the common descriptive names given to any impaired driving cases in Georgia). The alcohol limit in GA (adults) is 0.08 grams percent. To simplify terminology, “per se” connotes “over the legal limit,” as revealed by any post-arrest forensic testing of blood or breath which is done at any time within three hours after your driving ended.
A DUI less safe charge allows for conviction from evidence from a law enforcement officer that it was “less safe for the person to drive,” whether from alcohol, while impaired or under the influence of any drug to the extent of impairment, or from a toxic vapor, an aerosol, or by marijuana. When it comes to DUI drugs Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court has stated the legal burden to be “rendered incapable of driving safely.”
The Georgia DUI law is found in O.C.G.A. 40-6-391. Below is an infographic that covers not just a first offense DUI, but all levels of DUI punishment for felony or misdemeanor DUI in Georgia. It was created for a tri-fold flyer distributed to all judges who preside over DUI courts in Georgia, by Georgia’s leading DUI attorney, and Partner of Cory Yager, William C. “Bubba” Head. This image is just ONE page of that six-image infographic flyer:
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 can get a certificate of first conviction and obtain a “work permit” (temporary driver’s license) on a DUI-alcohol case the same day as their DUI conviction, but a DUI-drugs offender cannot drive at all for six months on a 1st DUI in GA.
Any DUI lawyer from our law office routinely hears from people who either lost at trial or pleaded guilty to DUI in GA many years ago yet are having employment opportunities denied to them. Some have lost benefits or opportunities due to 1st time DUI charges that led to a conviction. All have had their DUI car insurance canceled or sent to a substandard insurance carrier with higher premiums, lower liability limits, and restricted coverage (SR-22).
The DUI statute contained in O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 mandates these categories of 1st DUI punishment and mandatory minimum penalties that cannot be waived (for each category):
Minimum Mandatory Penalties under State of Georgia law for a 2nd DUI in GA:
O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 mandates these categories of 2nd DUI punishment and mandatory minimum (for each category):
For a 3rd DUI in GA, the phrase “high and aggravated” is a special Georgia punishment statute that alters the traditional “good time” credit that jails typically permit in Georgia. Such H&A offenses preclude giving more than four days of such “credit” per 30 days of the sentence. So, a 120-day jail sentence means that a 3rd DUI offender serves 104 days at a minimum.
Minimum Mandatory Penalties under State of Georgia law for a 3rd offense DUI:
Minimum Mandatory Penalties under State of Georgia law for a 4th DUI in Georgia:
Georgia Code 40-6-391 is the primary DUI law in GA. Other statutes supplement and augment various related laws for intoxicated driving, such as O.C.G.A. 40-5-55, 40-5-67.1, 40-5-64.1 and 40-5-67.2. A Georgia DUI blood test law that was enacted in 2006, permits an officer who has been told “no” to a breath or blood test to apply to a magistrate judge for a search warrant and get a forcible blood sample.
The new Georgia implied consent law notice is contained in 40-5-67.1. See this State of Georgia government link for other Georgia DUI laws.
The foregoing pages are merely STATING the facts, under Georgia drinking and driving laws. However, seeing that the consequences of being convicted of violating the drinking and driving laws in Georgia are so harsh, this amplifies the importance of hiring a DUI expert lawyer.
Here is a quick chart that shows Georgia DUI penalties:
|FIRST OFFENSE DUI||SECOND OFFENSE DUI||THIRD DUI OFFENSE||FOURTH DUI OFFENSE|
|DUI Fines in GA||$300 - $1,000||$600 - $1,000||$1,000 - $5,000||$,2500 - $5,000|
|Added GA Surcharges||DOUBLE or MORE FINE||DOUBLE or MORE FINE||DOUBLE or MORE FINE||DOUBLE or MORE FINE|
|Community Service||40 hours||240 hours||240 hours||480 hours|
|Jail Time Minimum||24 hours1||72 hours||15 days||90 days|
|Jail Time Maximum||12 months||12 months||12 months||5 years|
|Limited Permit Available||12 months||NO||NO||NO|
|License Suspension||12 months||36 months||5-year revocation||Same as 3rd DUI|
|Early Reinstatement||Yes, if over 21 & GA licensee||Yes, if over 21 & GA licensee||Yes, if over 21 & GA licensee||Same as 3rd DUI|
|IID - Interlock Mandated||NO||If early reinstate, YES4||After 24 months, if qualify||Same as 3rd DUI|
|DUI School or Classes||YES2||YES||YES||YES|
|A & D Evaluation||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Mandatory Probation||12 months3||12 months||5 years||Same as 3rd DUI|
|ALL Tags Surrendered||NO||YES||YES||YES|
Until 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.
Even the arrest record on pending charges for first offense driving under the influence GA can pose a significant problem for some high-security employment sectors. Plus, having a prior DUI conviction creates unexpected barriers to employment, especially in a major metropolitan city like Atlanta, Georgia. Since DUI penalties for drunk driving convictions in Georgia can last forever, hiring the right DUI specialist is critical for the person to be able to drive, if accused of the motor vehicle crime of being less safe.
For a first-time conviction for DUI, you could run into problems and loss of entitlement to prospective business deals or personal opportunities for many years, if not for LIFE. When it comes to DUI-drugs, even more issues can arise, such as losing the Georgia Hope Scholarship due to a drug conviction. See Mr. Head’s nationally known list of 97 Consequences of a DUI Conviction.
Contact Bubba Head, Cory Yager, or Larry Kohn and tap into our 75 years of collective criminal litigation experience, with most of those cases being for drunk driving or drugged driving. No other law office in Georgia will have three attorneys with better credentials or statistics showing a better percentage of DUI cases being reduced or dismissed.
Our law firm attorneys near me have thousands of true case histories of how our clients were able to avoid these draconian consequences by winning through case dismissal, or getting a DUI reduced to reckless driving or some other disposition (other than for DUI GA). 404-567-5515. Call us 24 hours a day.
Additional Questions That Our Award-Winning DUI Attorneys Can Answer for You at the FREE Lawyer Consultation: