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.
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.