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What Is a DUI? Georgia DUI Lawyer Explains

What Does It Mean When You Get Arrested For DUI?

By Atlanta DUI Lawyer Bubba Head

Atlanta DUI Lawyer Bubba Head

First and foremost, a DUI is a criminal traffic offense. It is also a well-known acronym for the crime of “driving under the influence.” With the exception of Wisconsin and New Jersey, which classify a DUI case as a civil infraction, all other states and the District of Columbia make driving while intoxicated a criminal offense.

In all American jurisdictions, a first offense DUI is typically a misdemeanor. However, aggravating special circumstances can change an impaired driving charge to a felony in some states (e.g., Illinois). Special circumstances include an accident with injuries, or if a child 14 or younger is in the driver’s vehicle, and is endangered by the person driving drunk. Atlanta DUI lawyer Bubba Head points out that under Georgia DUI laws, having a child under 14 in the vehicle is a misdemeanor.

Conviction penalties vary depending on the facts of your DUI case. Is this your first DUI ever? Are you under 21? Did you cause an accident with injuries? Were any children under 14 years of age riding in your vehicle? Were you charged with other traffic offenses like failure to maintain lane, speeding, reckless driving, or hit and run? Penalties include more jail time, higher court fines, longer probation, loss of driver’s license, DUI school attendance, and community service.

Call our law office at (404) 567-5515 and we will discuss your case over the phone.

Does My Car Have to Be Turned On?

Some people think that they must be driving to be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is not true in Georgia. A drunken driver or drugged driver can be asleep inside a parked vehicle, with the engine off and the ignition key in his or her pocket, and still be arrested for DUI in Georgia. “This is because Georgia is one of several states in the nation who criminalize ‘being in actual physical control’ of a motor vehicle while being too drunk to drive,” says Georgia DUI attorney Bubba Head, who is part of a DUI law firm with five Georgia DWI lawyers.

You can also get a DUI on a bicycle, a motorcycle, a boat, and even on water skis. During the summer months at Lake Lanier local law enforcement are making plenty of boating under the influence (BUI) arrests. We can help you with these. You can even get arrested for DUI on your own private property. For example, if you are riding around your privately-owned farm and drinking, a police officer can come onto your property and pull you over. Yes, it is very rare but it does happen.

What Does DUI Mean?

Being arrested for DUI means that you are likely facing a 10-day deadline to file a DUI administrative license suspension appeal to Georgia DDS. Because a police officer’s arrest is presumptively lawful, Georgia DUI laws provide for sanctions under the Georgia Implied Consent law wherein the person drinking and driving can suffer an administrative suspension of his or her license (or privilege to drive in Georgia) for up to one full year, for a “refusal” to provide a test, or for providing a breath test and being over the legal limit.

An administrative license suspension or ALS is handled by the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings. A hearing is held in a civil court of law totally separate from the criminal court dates like arraignment, calendar calls, pre-trial motions hearings, and entering a final plea.

A refusal means the driver refused to blow into a portable breath test machine, or refused to take any field sobriety tests like the horizontal gaze nystagmus HGN, walk and turn WAT and one-legged stand OLS. We recommend that you decline all field sobriety tests because they are unscientific, and can only be used as damaging evidence against you.

Being over the legal limit means that your blood alcohol concentration exceeded the legal BAC limit for your age and the type of license you hold. Drivers under 21 years of age have a legal limit of 0.2%, drivers 21 and over have a 0.08% level, and commercial drivers (CDL) have a 0.04% level. You can be arrested for impaired driving even if your BAC didn’t exceed the legal limit, for example in DUI less safe cases.

Free Consultation – Payment Plans

Call us at (404) 567-5515 and speak directly to Bubba Head, Cory Yager, or Larry Kohn and let them know your side of the story. We are doing in-person consultations or over the phone. If I need to hire a DUI attorney to learn how to find DUI records, how much does it cost? Contact Atlanta DUI attorney William C. ““Bubba” Head by phone [1-888-DUI-HEAD or 1-888-384-4323] or email at

Don’t miss your chance for an appointment with one of the best DUI lawyers in Atlanta. Bubba Head has helped shape GA DUI law for 4 decades, and has spent thousands of hours in Fulton State Court, Cobb State Court, Atlanta Traffic Court, and Athens GA Municipal Court.

Attorney Bubba Head cares about his clients very deeply and it shows in the courtroom and at the law office. Plus his legal staff communicates with you throughout your case so you will know where to be when, and any further developments between your attorney and the state proseutor.

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


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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