DUI Lawyer Georgia: DUI Laws Explained by Law Book Authors
This DUI info page is written by our GA DUI lawyers in a manner to not use legal jargon in explaining how to beat a DUI in GA. This "source" page then links out to more complete pages that discuss selected issues like the Georgia DUI arrest procedure, and the Georgia implied consent law.
Our Georgia DUI lawyers answer 11 common questions about DUI laws in GA in order to provide those accused in pending DUIs with some quick answers about their DUI charge. One of the most common is "When is a DUI a felony in GA?"
Our three attorneys in Atlanta will also identify code sections and insert many links for may DUI laws in Georgia. This way, the reader can see exactly how our state statutes are worded.Why Should I Listen to These DUI Lawyers Over Other DUI Attorneys Near Me?
GA DUI Attorney William C. Head has been practicing GA DUI law in the Peach State since 1976. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books on DUI laws in various states. Both Mr. Larry Kohn and Mr. Cory Yager are co-authors of DUI legal books, too.
William Head, a 1991 co-author of 101 Ways to Avoid a Drunk Driving Conviction, wrote the largest selling DUI book in history. Today, Mr. Head is one of fewer than 50 DWI-DUI lawyers in America to be Board-Certified by NCDD.com.
The three co-authors of this article are the writers of Georgia's leading law book for other DUI attorneys, judges, and many prosecutors. This 1400-page treatise, titled The Georgia DUI Trial Practice Manual, 2023 and subsequent years, is a legal guide that Mr. Head originally self-published in 1995.
The Columbus, Georgia native is partners with ex-police officer Cory Yager and AVVO superstar Larry Kohn who have only worked with the Atlanta DUI lawyer their entire legal careers, totaling nearly 40 years. These two partners have multiple Super Lawyers recognitions, and (along with DUI lawyer GA Bubba Head, are part of a law firm named for over 15 years by Best Lawyers in America.11 Commonly Asked Questions About Pending DUI Cases in Georgia
- What is the percentage of DUI cases dismissed in Georgia? Fewer than 5%. Many more are reduced to a lesser charge, however.
- Many law firm websites warn about 30 days after arrest to avoid license suspension. What is that about? Virtually all DUI arrests start TWO legal actions against the arrested driver. The simplest rule of thumb is that if your plastic license was not returned to you, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.
One DUI consequence you face is criminal in nature, and one is administrative. The administrative license suspension for refusal to take the post-arrest test can take away all right to drive for a full 12 months if you do not act within 30 days after arrest. Plus, after the twelve months, the driver must pay a reinstatement fee to regain his or her license.
- When is a DUI a felony in Georgia? Since July 1, 2008, the Peach State has had a DUI felony statute. The statute "looks back" for ten years, using dates-of-arrest as the measuring stick. Driving under the influence can be a felony if it is a 4th DUI within 10 years.
In addition, several other auto accident scenarios can make a 1st DUI crime a felony in GA. But the most common way is from being a 4th DUI offender in GA within ten (10) years (measured by arrest dates).
- How many parts are there to Georgia law on DUI? There are literally dozens of subtle twists, turns and seeming inconsistencies in the DUI laws in GA. Even those who refused the post-arrest implied consent testing (breath, blood, or urine) will be accused by the court's prosecutor of OCGA DUI less safe.
The impairing substance can be alcohol or drugs, and various subsections provide details of the "ways" a DUI offense can be committed. O.C.G.A 40-6-391(a)(1) is the subsection for alcohol.
O.C.G.A 40-6-391(a)(3) covers being impaired by glue fumes, aerosols, or toxic vapors. The (a)(4) subsection covers the combined influence of more than one type of impairing substance or contraband substances, including alcohol. Each of these is a type of "DUI less safe Georgia" accusation.
The DUI per se alcohol statute under OCGA Section (a)(5) applies to adults who submitted to post-arrest testing and had a reading of 0.08 grams percent or higher. O.C.G.A 40-6-391(a)(2) is for being impaired (DUI) drugs, like marijuana.
Another code section, O.C.G.A 40-6-391(a)(6), allows for prosecution of those who took prescribed drugs and were rendered incapable of driving safely, by whatever medication was found in their system.
- What happens with drivers under the drinking age in Georgia, with a DUI charge? Often, those facing Georgia DUI under 21 charges will be accused in alternative counts under multiple code sections. Persons under 21 may have a less safe DUI (by alcohol) charge, plus be charged with being over the 0.02 grams percent BAC level for underage drivers, O.C.G.A 40-6-391 (l) [the lower-case letter "L").
Georgia DUI penalties for criminal law sanctions can be found within the OCGA 40 6 391, too. Each offense (DUI 1st offense, 2nd DUI in GA) calls for a certain minimum number of 8-hour days of community service. A first DUI offender must perform 40 hours or more and the 2nd DUI in Georgia offender 240 hours or more.
- When did the DUI ignition interlock device option for DUI first offense drivers who refused implied consent testing get enacted in Georgia? On July 1, 2017, OCGA 40-5-64.1 became effective.
- I think I passed the sobriety tests given during field sobriety testing, but I was still arrested. Why did that happen? Almost no drivers know that field sobriety tests are 100% optional, voluntary and are not "scientific" tests.
The officer may have done the testing incorrectly, yet still arrested you. Never take a roadside agility evaluation, HGN eye test or any other police "exercise." These are 100% optional, and no penalty exists for politely refusing these bogus tests.
- Can your DUI defense attorneys obtain a reckless driving vs DUI in my case? First, a GA reckless driving charge under OCGA 40-6-390 is not a "lesser included offense" of driving under the influence. Yet, in most of our first offense DUI clients' cases, this is probably obtainable, assuming no aggravating factors like a car wreck, bad conduct toward the law enforcement officers, and (hopefully) a good arrest video, showing little or no signs of impairment.
- On a hit and run Georgia that leads to a DUI arrest, can we also fight the Georgia hit & run laws? Police are trained that many hit and run car accidents involving another occupied motor vehicle or a pedestrian is usually committed by an impaired driver. When that other driver departs from the accident scene, and does not comply with O.C.G.A. Section 40-6-270 (a), police will doggedly try to locate that damaged vehicle, before the suspected alcohol or drugs (within the absconder driver's system) dissipates.
Thus, these 911 calls create aggressive patrol car search efforts that will sometimes have 5 to 7 police cars searching for our client. One officer will go to the home of the car's registered license plate address associated with the registration number VIN (vehicle identification number).
Any driver who leaves the scene of the accident (whether any personal injury occurred to others or not) faces an equally serious misdemeanor crime as a DUI in GA. Jail time of ten days is mandated, plus license suspension, even for the misdemeanor first offense cases.
- Is it worth Fighting a DUI in Georgia First Offense? Yes, it is. The #1 reason is the lifetime criminal record you create, but only if found guilty. This is an exempted crime that allows no expunction, for which no expungement can ever be granted.
- In searching the internet about police officers' breath alcohol testing in Georgia, I keep seeing references to Elliott DUI. What does that mean?
The Elliott case in Georgia was an Athens case in which the female client refused to submit to a post-arrest breathalyzer test on the Intoxilyzer 8000. The DUI defense attorney sought exclusion of that “refusal to be tested,” arguing that (because breath testing requires following police directions and using your body to produce evidence) that using her refusal against her was unconstitutional.
The trial judge in the Athens-Clarke County State Court ruled against Ms. Elliott, but (on appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court), that ruling was overturned, and her refusal to be tested was excluded. That February 2019 case caused the Georgia Legislature to re-write the implied consent law warning used in Georgia.
- Receive a FREE lawyer consultation, either in PERSON, via phone, or by way of video conferencing, like Zoom.
- Plus, our DUI lawyers nearby can offer reasonable legal fee payment plans..
- Our three award-winning Georgia lawyers near me offer 24-7 availability. In some DUI cases, our legal advice can help you get released from jail, and help prospective clients with other emergencies.
This offer for FREE legal advice given during our no-cost free consultation lawyer meeting can also help you protect the right to drive. Remember that your driver’s license is at risk in most DUI arrests. WARNING: This administrative suspension time frame is VERY SHORT, so call us immediately after your DUI arrest before time runs out!
All potential clients who call us receive a FREE PDF copy of Mr. Head’s 430-page book, The DUI Book. This easy-to-understand resource explains DUI laws at a non-lawyer’s level.
Call today to speak with one of our THREE GA SUPER Lawyers today. Contact us at (404) 567-5515. What do you have to LOSE, if the phone call, PDF book and legal advice are FREE?Other Helpful GA DUI Links That May Be of Interest