Georgia DUI Laws: Drunk Driving, DUI Drugs in Atlanta GA

 By: William C. Head, DUI Lawyer Atlanta, the Man Who Wrote the Book on DUI Laws in GA

GA DUI Laws Lawyer Bubba Head

DUI arrests, especially for first DUI offense clients, is a shock to their system. Most are shocked to learn that field sobriety tests were OPTIONAL, and that they did not have to agree to doing these. Reports of self-loathing, sleeplessness, inability to eat, not focusing on their job and discord on their domestic relationships are common.

Other than worrying about jail time, being able to operate a motor vehicle is the #2 question most accused impaired drivers obsess about, for DUI cases in Georgia. Only a small fraction of first offenders will have any additional jail time, for the cases our lawyers near me handle in Georgia.

GA DUI Lawyers Cory Yager, Bubba Head, and Larry Kohn

Next, our objective is to use our superior knowledge of DUI laws in Georgia to guide the ship through the troubled waters created by this pending DUI arrest. Since driving under the influence can result in a license revocation or suspension in ALL cases, fighting for a non-DUI disposition is our objective in every case.

9 Frequently Asked Questions About GA DUI Laws

GA Drunk Driving

Being charged with DUI alters many parts of the accused citizen’s life. People arrested for a DUI in Georgia usually have one of these 9 questions about their DUI case on their minds, when our DUI lawyers first interview them:

  1. Is a DUI a felony in GA? Beginning July 1, 2008, a 4th DUI in Georgia constitutes a felony, if dates of arrest between the 1st DUI and the fourth DUI is under 10 years.
  2. What are the Georgia DUI penalties? Georgia DUI sentencing guidelines call for certain minimum, mandatory aspects of a DUI sentence in GA.

The DUI sentence in GA includes 24 hours in jail (for those who have a post-arrest alcohol test number over the Georgia DUI limit) to 12 months in jail, with any days that the defendant is not incarcerated to be served on probation for the full year. For a first offense DUI, a limited driving permit is available the first 120 days, after which license reinstatement is available through Georgia DDS.

The DUI fine in GA is from $300 to $1,000 on a 1st offense DUI, while DUI 4th offense can reach $5000 plus surcharges. Completing DUI school (called Georgia Risk Reduction in the Peach State) and a substance abuse assessment are also going to be required. You can find a driving school near me by doing a Google search.

Also, 40 hours of community service must be performed for a first DUI, this jumps to 240 hours on a DUI 2nd or DUI 3rd offense.

For repeat offenders, this minimum goes to 72 hours on a 2nd DUI in GA, and 15 days on a 3rd DUI. A 4th DUI in GA requires not less than 90 days in custody and 480 hours of community service.

  1. Where can I read the Georgia drinking and driving laws? DUI GA OCGA 40-6-391. The limitations put on DUI nolo law in Georgia on July 1,1997 dramatically changed the OCGA DUI statute, by stripping away the previous ability of Georgia licensees to not be suspended.
  2. My list of charges shows multiple DUI offenses in Georgia, why is that? Some courts, like the Atlanta Municipal Court, often list all types of committing DUI on their docket, like OCGA DUI drugs, and DUI combination of alcohol and drugs, even if that is not what the driver is facing.
  3. Can DUI convictions in Georgia be expunged? Not in Georgia.
  4. What is the fine for a DUI in Georgia? Often, people who plan to plead guilty ask us, “How much is a DUI ticket in Georgia?” That minor cost is like a small marble in a railroad train boxcar, considering the true, lifetime cost of a DUI.
  5. What is the legal alcohol limit in GA? In 2001, the adult Georgia legal limit was lowered from 0.10 grams percent to 0.08 grams percent. This blood alcohol content limit in Georgia for drivers who are age 21 and over is the same in all other states except Utah, which now uses 0.05 grams percent. Being over the GA legal driving alcohol limit can be prosecuted, even with NO signs of impairment. That GA BAC limit [as shown on a post-arrest forensic breathalyzer (Intoxilyzer 9000)] or by a GBI test yielding your Georgia blood alcohol limit, you can be convicted.
  6. What is considered a DUI in Georgia? The DUI less safe OCGA statute covers various types of DUI. For all drivers under age 21, a Georgia zero tolerance policy zero tolerance law is applicable. Thus, with even a negligible quantity of alcohol (0.02 grams percent or more) the State can prosecute that underage driver. CMV (commercial motor vehicle) operators are held to a 0.02 grams percent or more, when behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler of other commercial vehicle or bus.
  7. The officer took my driver license and gave me a form telling me options to either appeal an administrative license suspension or install an ignition interlock device. What do I need to do to save my right to drive?

Implied consent laws call for lawfully arrested DUI drivers to agree to the post-arrest testing. A new GA DUI law 2019 was put into law April 28, 2019.

So, now a breath, blood or urine test can be requested, but a DUI refusal of the forensic breath alcohol test cannot be used against you in court. Note that ignition interlocks are usually only installed when a driver is charged with refusal to submit to post-arrest testing.

So, within 30 days after arrest, that driver must either file an appeal to be able to keep driving or install an ignition interlock device for a full year. Failure to immediately address this administrative implied consent license suspension is a costly and damaging blow to your chances of the best-case outcome, for those who fail to act. Ignition interlocks are usually only installed when a driver is charged with refusal to submit to post-arrest testing, which can totally suspend ALL driving privileges for a full 12 months.

Georgia DUI Lawyer William Head Created This Helpful DUI Chart Georgia

GA DUI Penalties Infographic

More About Our Three Award-Winning Legal Book Authors and DUI Defense Attorneys

With 4 metro Atlanta DUI law offices, our criminal law attorneys near me in Georgia travel statewide to help citizens accused of impaired driving. Call today for your FREE lawyer consultation at 404-567-5515.

Our DUI defense lawyers always provide a FREE lawyer consultation to help calm potential clients’ worries. This is done by outlining a step-by-step game plan for protecting our Client’s right to drive and covering all the potential pitfalls that inaction and lack of familiarity with Georgia Law can cause.

DUI lawyer Atlanta Larry Kohn has been with criminal attorney and Board-Certified DUI attorney Bubba Head since 1996. Ex-cop turned DUI lawyer Atlanta Cory Yager has been part of the criminal justice, legal services team since 2008. After over 10,000 cases in 80 collective years of legal service, what more can you ask for? We have 4 criminal law offices near me for your convenience: Sandy Springs, Marietta, Alpharetta, and downtown Atlanta.

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