On this page you will learn about Georgia DUI laws and how and why (even for a 1st offense DUI in GA) you need to ignore cheap DUI lawyers near me and retain an experienced DUI attorney Atlanta. DUI penalties under drinking and driving laws in Georgia dramatically increase as any new offenses are added to a person’s criminal record. This page outlines those greater punishments, if convicted of a 2nd DUI in GA, 3rd DUI in GA or 4th DUI case as criminalized by Georgia drunk driving laws.
Georgia DUI statute 40 6 391 has layers of complexity. In simple terms, it proscribes being behind the wheel and impaired when it is not safe for the person to drive. If the investigating law enforcement officer concludes that you are incapable of driving safely by being under the influence of any drug, toxic vapor, and therefore are rendered incapable of driving safely, you go to jail. The GA supreme court has stated that impairment by ANY drug to the extent of impairment is enough to convict.
This especially applies to Georgia DUI laws and the related penalties and legal pitfalls that may not be clear to a non-lawyer. On July 1, 2008 the Georgia Legislature significantly changed GA DUI law and expanded the look back period to 10 years, and not 5 years, as existed before. A seemingly insignificant issue, like advising you to take the State ignition interlock limited permit, when a better solution exists, can be disastrous for some drivers.
Then, be willing to be proactive and assist your DUI defense lawyer in your DUI in Georgia first offense! Remember, even on a 1st DUI you are fighting Georgia criminal laws and not a mere traffic infraction. DUI is one of the serious driving offenses, and the implications go far beyond merely being guilty of a misdemeanor. In this page, the reasons to fight a Georgia law first offence DUI become apparent.
DUI Laws in Georgia: How Bad Is a First DUI in Georgia?
Before you search for DUI lawyers near me, by understanding what you are facing, in a DUI first offense, you will be aware of the worst punishment, and be cognizant of the LIFETIME criminal record that a drunk driving conviction creates. You need a lawyer near me, but not all criminal defense lawyers are best equipped to fight for the optimal outcome of a DUI in Georgia, which is found in the impaired driving code section GA: 40-6-391.
Even if this is your first offense DUI arrest ever, do not think that it is no big deal or that the judge will be lenient on you because this is your “first DUI.” Georgia criminal laws are among the toughest driving under the influence statutes in America, even for a first time DUI. For the last two decades, the nolo contendere plea has been virtually unavailable to drivers and does not prevent the offense being listed as a “conviction.” For this reason, retaining legal counsel IMMEDIATELY is critical, to protect the evidence that may otherwise disappear.
Plus, not only do our State’s laws cover driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but also other substances and chemicals of ANY type, including noxious vapors (like sniffing glue). The Georgia Legislature has seen fit to increase punishments within the Georgia Code for several categories of motorists, including the commercial driver (who has a CDL license and is in a big rig truck, bus or other commercial motor vehicle, as defined by GA laws). Underage drivers suffer more lengthy suspensions, as do any citizens convicted of DUI-drugs.
Potential License Suspension Follows a DUI Arrest in Georgia
Plus, for over forty years, DUI laws in GA have authorized officers to seize your driver license as part of a DUI arrest. This occurs as an administrative license suspension proceeding wherein the State of Georgia DDS seeks to suspend for a refusal to submit to implied consent testing, which Georgia laws call a “chemical test.” Another type of administrative driver license suspension can be imposed for taking the test and being over the legal limit.
Don’t just think about minimizing jail time since most citizens facing a first DUI offense will not go back to jail beyond what they endured after bonding out of detention on the night of the arrest. Your goal is to hire an experienced, veteran DUI lawyer who can keep a drunk driving conviction off your permanent criminal record. Don’t think that you can use the Georgia First Offender Act, because Georgia DUI laws PROHIBIT that from happening.
First Offense DUI Benefits and Limitations Compared To a Conviction of a 2nd DUI in GA
Their next concern is that they save their drivers’ license. Depending upon whether the driving under the influence cases was based on alcohol or drug quantities in the person’s system, the driver’s license punishment can be greater for DUI-drugs, and a full year period of NO DRIVING at all on a 1st offense DUI-drug conviction. Plus, the availability of driving privileges (this is called early reinstatement) will require a clinical evaluation being undertaken and payment of the necessary reinstatement fee following a DUI in GA may turn upon whether the driver is age 21 or over at the time of the case disposition.
A DUI refusal of implied consent testing, after being arrested, can lead to total loss of all driving privileges for 12 months at the Georgia Department of Driver Services (Georgia DDS.) Any driver who (at the time of the guilty plea or trial resulting in a DUI conviction) is under age 21 cannot get a limited permit, even after a 1st offense DUI. A 1st offence DUI driver in Alabama could, but not Georgia.
Drunk Driving Laws In GA
This article explains implied consent law, and its special statutory provisions under OCGA 40-5-55, 40-5-67.1 and other statutes. All such provisions relate to an arrested citizen who is facing a DUI in Georgia being asked by the arresting officer (post-arrest) to agree to submit to additional chemical testing to determine his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) or the person’s concentration of drug levels. For the last half-century, reported appellate cases for the Georgia implied consent law are among the nation’s most favorable DUI-DWI decisions on appeal.
A Glimpse of Georgia Driving Under the Influence Laws: 1st DUI Through 4th DUI
No matter what negative impact a DUI 1st offense may bring, the DUI penalties for a second offense DUI jump significantly. For example, community service for a 1st GA DUI is 40 hours, the jail time minimum is 24 hours, if a blood alcohol or breath alcohol forensic result shows 0.08 grams percent or more at any time within three hours of the driving ending. By contrast, a DUI second offense goes up to 30 days of community service, or 240 hours plus not less than 72 hours in jail. A 3rd DUI in Georgia takes the mandatory jail sentence to 15 days.
A 2nd DUI in GA (or subsequent conviction) can virtually make a person unemployable, for most jobs. Plus, a third DUI in 5 years will take away the entire ability to drive for at least 2 full years. The 4th drunk driving charge is a felony DUI, if within 10 years, based on dates of arrest.
To explain how this may be accomplished in your DUI case, our DUI law firm offers:
FREE lawyer consultation with a PARTNER, with over 1,000 DUI cases under his belt;
Attorneys’ fees payment plans;
24-hour lawyer availability;
Our lawyers in Georgia prefer to meet you in person, or by way of video conference;
Payment in cash, credit cards, or bank wire transfer;
FREE PDF copy of Mr. Head’s 430-page book, written for DUI clients;
Why Choose Our DUI Lawyers For a 1st DUI?
The three Georgia lawyers at our law office are true DUI specialists. No matter which law firms near me you investigate, no other criminal defense lawyers in Atlanta will have better credentials for drunk driving defense, so why settle for a less qualified and experienced criminal lawyer near me?
Ex-cop Cory Yager, AVVO superstar Larry Kohn (over 430 attorney ratings), and Georgia’s recognized leader in DUI defense, William C. “Bubba” Head, with 43 years of aggressive criminal law practice to his credit. All three Georgia drunk driving attorneys have been named to multiple Super Lawyers lists, and all three are published law book authors on drunken driving defense.
What If I Need a FREE DUI Lawyer?
Georgia has a system of FREE DUI LAWYERS in every single court because every DUI mandates probation, or jail, or both. So, if your income level permits you to qualify for a public defender or a court-appointed DUI lawyer, go to these people for your drunk driving defense. You positively need to be represented.
You can’t be denied representation by a DUI lawyer, but FREE DUI attorneys are at public defender offices, not private law firms. If you cannot afford a paid DUI lawyer, contact your court, and ask how to qualify for an appointed DUI defense lawyer.
Helpful Information About Criminal Georgia DUI Laws and Our Georgia DUI Attorneys
Main statute: O.C.G.A. 40-6-391
Georgia DUI schools for Risk Reduction DUI classes
DUI Testing Statute: O.C.G.A. 40-6-392
Felony Vehicular Homicide: O.C.G.A. 40-3-394
Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle: O.C.G.A. 40-3-394
Links About Administrative License Suspension
Implied Consent Statute: O.C.G.A. 40-5-55
Best Lawyers in America:
Bubba Head is Board-Certified by the National College for DUI Defense