How Serious are the Penalties for DUI in Georgia?

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Most people understand how serious it is to be arrested for DUI in Georgia. It doesn’t matter where you live, if you’re charged with DUI, you’re going to face some pretty stiff penalties. Georgia, like most other states, takes a hard-lined approach toward drunk driving. And, with the opioid epidemic being so prolific in Georgia, they are cracking down even harder on impaired driving.

Most people don’t realize that there are two (2) types of DUI in Georgia. One has to do with a driver appearing impaired in front of an officer. The other has to do with their failing a blood or chemical test. Regardless of which one you’re charged with, the penalties are going to be the same. The real difference is in how your Athens DUI attorney will defend your case.

The important thing you need to know is what the penalties are for DUI. If you’re arrested for DUI, there’s a good chance that the State has evidence showing that you were under the influence. You’re going to need an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens there to help you get the charges reduced or dismissed.

What is Considered DUI in Georgia?

Georgia has two main types of DUI. One is called a DUI “Per Se.” This simply means that you took a breathalyzer test or chemical test, and demonstrated a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. It is very difficult to dispute this kind of DUI. Your Athens DUI lawyer will have to prove that there was something wrong with the test or that the results were inaccurate.

The other type of DUI is what we know as a Driving Under the Influence. While the evidence for this type of DUI may not be as strong, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to defend this charge. If the officers believe that you have consumed drugs or alcohol to the point where you can’t safely operate your car, you’re charged with DUI.

Either way, the charges mean the same thing. The State believes that you were impaired, either by drugs or alcohol, to the point where you were a risk to yourself and others. And, if this is the case, you’re going to be arrested and charged with the crime of DUI.

Your Athens DUI Attorney Knows the Penalties for DUI

The penalties for DUI, even for a first offense, are pretty serious in Georgia. No matter what level of offense you’re charged with, you’ll be facing fines, jail time and a license suspension. These penalties will be enhanced depending on how inebriated you are at the time of your arrest. Each time you’re arrested, these penalties will also increase.

Here are the penalties for DUI in Georgia. Keep in mind, these can be enhanced if you have a BAC of .15 or higher, or if you have children in the car when you’re arrested.

  • 1st Offense:
    • Up to 1 year in jail
    • Fines of up to $1,000
    • 40 hours of community service
    • 1 year license suspension
  • 2nd Offense:
    • Up to 1 year in jail
    • Fines of up to $1,000
    • 3 years license suspension
    • Probation
    • 40 hours community service
    • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device
  • 3rd Offense:
    • Up to 1 year in jail
    • Fines of $1,000-$5,000
    • Up to 5 years license suspension
    • 40 hours community service
    • Ignition Interlock Device
    • Substance Abuse Treatment and DUI Education Classes
  • 4th Offense:
    • This is considered a felony in Georgia
    • Up to 5 years in jail
    • Fines of up to $5,000
    • All of the other penalties of a 3rd offense DUI

As you can see, these penalties are pretty serious. Even if it’s your first offense, you can lose your license for up to a year. This will make it very difficult to get to work or school. It also will have an impact on your insurance.

Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney in Athens, Georgia

If you’re arrested for DUI, you’re going to spend at least one night in jail. You’ll get to make your customary phone call. That call should be to an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens. They can handle your case from day one to give you the best defense.

Your attorney will work hard to get your charges either reduced or dismissed. They’ll talk to the prosecutor and try to get the evidence thrown out. They’ll also work out a plea deal if that’s what you decide is best.

Call Athens DUI Lawyers today and schedule your initial consultation. It’s important that you call your lawyer right away because your first court appearance will be in a week or two after your arrest.