By Atlanta DUI Lawyer William C. Head
A common question among people in Atlanta who choose to drink and drive is, “What happens if I get a DUI?” While it is not illegal to drink and drive in Georgia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher if you are over 21 years old. The BAC level for drivers under 21 drops considerably to 0.02, while the BAC level for commercial drivers (CDL) is set at 0.04.
This type of drunk driving charge, which mainly relies on the results of a breathalyzer test, a blood test or urine test, is called a DUI per se violation in Georgia. BUT, you can still be arrested for impaired driving in Atlanta even if your BAC registers below the legal limits stated above. In these cases that involve “officer discretion,” you will be charged with DUI less safe.
In a DUI less safe incident, If a police officer determines that you have consumed alcohol or drugs prior to driving, but a breathalyzer test registers your BAC at less than 0.08, the officer can still handcuff you and take you to jail if he or she concludes that you are “less safe” to operate a motor vehicle. If you refuse to take the breath test, you can be charged with a less safe DUI.
One sign of a less safe driver that the officer looks for is erratic driving before you are pulled over and stopped. Once the officer approaches your vehicle and asks you to roll down your window, the officer may smell alcohol or marijuana coming from your vehicle interior, or may spot an open container of alcohol or visible drug paraphernalia. Another common sign of intoxication is slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.
If you go to your first court date at Atlanta Municipal Court and plead guilty to all charges, the judge will immediately impose harsh DUI penalties that will impact your money, your time, and your entire lifestyle. As you think through your legal options once you get home from jail, one of the biggest questions you will have is, “Can I afford an Atlanta DUI lawyer?” The answer to this major question is not as cut and dried as you may first think. Atlanta DUI lawyer William C. (Bubba) Head recommends that you call him first and discuss your case before making any decision about handling this matter yourself, or asking the judge to assign an Atlanta public defender. When you ask yourself, “What is the punishment for DUI?” you must first realize that a DUI conviction stays on your permanent Georgia criminal record for life. It never “falls off,” and future employers will know about it.
The first thing to remember is that an arrest is not a conviction™. Just because you were arrested and booked into Atlanta City Jail or DeKalb County Jail, you are innocent of all DUI charges until proven guilty by the State. This is where a top Atlanta DUI lawyer can come to your aid. Clients of Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head NEVER plead guilty at their arraignment in the Municipal Court of Atlanta, DeKalb County Municipal Court, or Fulton County Superior Court (if charged with a felony DUI). Many DUI defense strategies exist to fight and win against the State’s relentless prosecution of your case. Bubba Head has challenged many Atlanta prosecutors in some of the toughest Georgia impaired driving cases, and has achieved favorable outcomes for thousands of relieved clients over his 40-year career.
The more immediate and obvious consequences of a DUI can include more jail time, community service, court fines, DUI class, an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and probation with random alcohol and drug screens. The severity of the consequences depends on if your charges are at the misdemeanor or felony level, and how many traffic violations you get convicted on. Bubba Head’s Atlanta DUI law firm is focused on only one objective: to reduce or eliminate as many charges as possible so that you don’t have to suffer the painful DUI consequences that come with a conviction.
Call 42-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your DUI case and get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515