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Georgia DUI Penalties: DUI in Georgia First Offense

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

Many potential clients call our law firm voicing concern about Georgia DUI penalties. Known nationally for being some of the toughest DUI laws in the United States, (if convicted) the consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will become a permanent part of your criminal history. This includes a 1st DUI in Georgia.

A conviction of a DUI in Georgia 1st offense carries a moderate criminal law punishment, at the time of sentencing. The minimum jail time in GA is by no means above average in length. Plus, unlike many states (e.g., Arizona, Missouri, West Virginia). a high Georgia BAC limit (such as 0.16 grams percent) does not bring a a harsh additional penalty.

However, the lifetime criminal record from any DUI offense and resulting license suspension after a conviction under Georgia drinking and driving laws can wreak havoc in many clients’ lives. Our implied consent law administrative license suspension carries a potential one-year loss of all driving privileges after a DUI refusal to be tested following arrest for drunk driving.

For some clients who did refuse a blood test or breathalyzer after being cuffed, our law group may advise you to opt for the ignition interlock device available under OCGA 40-5-64.1. This must be specially processed through the Georgia Department of Driver Services, so do not miss your 30-day deadline to either appeal to GA DDS or opt for that IID limited permit for a full year.

This short introduction explains why our DUI law firm fights these DUI charges, to find a better legal solution for our clients, and save their driver license. Even if you took the post-arrest test and have a reading over the Georgia DUI limit, our three award-winning DUI attorneys and legal book authors often obtain a non-DUI disposition for our clients.

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GA DUI Laws 2019: First Offender DUI Georgia

A first offense DUI in GA criminal violation will remain on your criminal record FOR LIFE. This is one of the only crimes for which Georgia’s 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. In addition to the author of this article, Larry Kohn and Georgia’s top DUI lawyer, Bubba Head are available to give you a free consultation.

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. The pink highlighted area covers first DUI in GA. The last bracket of DUI penalties in Georgia, for a 4th DUI in GA within 10 years is for a DUI felony Georgia.

This infographic above was created by William C. Head, has been a published legal book author since 1991, on the topic of how to beat a DUI. He also created a tri-fold flyer for criminal court judges who preside over the 1000-plus different DUI courts in Georgia. The image on Georgia laws for DUI is just ONE sheet (page) of that six-image flyer.

Without doubt, having a prior DUI conviction creates unexpected barriers to employment, especially in a major metropolitan city like Atlanta, Georgia. An arrest record for DUI in Georgia laws can plague you, too. But, by winning the case, a person can limit any damage, because few employers can ignore the fact that you won your case.

However, for some first offense driving under the influence GA cases, the mere arrest record can pose a significant problem. The situations our lawyers in Atlanta have encountered (for DUI penalties in Georgia) have been restricted to some very high-level security employment sectors.

We will review all DUI consequences Georgia with you, when we meet for your FREE lawyer consultation. Call today at 404-567-5515 and ask about our legal fee payment plans.

DUI penalties for drunk driving convictions in Georgia can last forever. Hiring the right DUI specialist is critical for that person to be able to drive. When accused of the motor vehicle crime of being DUI less safe, your refusal to acquiesce to post-arrest DUI testing can trigger a total license suspension.

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 BUI Georgia has no impact on your GA DDS driving privileges in GA, but a conviction for a BUI charge can cost you boating privileges for a full year. Other states, like Missouri, will “count” a BUI from any state as a prior impaired driving offense, however.

Until convicted, no permanent criminal record for conviction of a drunk driving offense exists. This pertains to 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.

Additional Helpful Links

Wording of the Georgia DUI statute O.C.G.A. 40-6-391

GA DUI laws 2018

GA DUI laws 2020

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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5590 Roswell Road
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Sandy Springs, GA 30342
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235 Peachtree Street NE
Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 567-5515
in Cobb County, GA:
109 Anderson Street
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Marietta, GA 30060
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in North Fulton County, GA:
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Alpharetta, GA 30009
(844) 867-2889