The state of Georgia runs because our roads do. Your fellow Georgians rely on the intricate street and highway system to commute to and from work, travel to recreational activities, get to school and university, run errands to maintain personal and familial lifestyles, and travel around and outside of the state.
Because so many Georgians are dependent on the road system to get to and from their activities, and there are minimal public transport options for traveling around at night, many citizens of the state can find themselves in precarious situations that lead to drunk driving arrests. Being convicted of a DUI can have serious consequences that can vary greatly based on the circumstances of your case. If you are currently facing drunk driving charges, a knowledgeable criminal lawyer can help your case.
According to Georgia law, driving under the influence of both alcohol and other drugs is prosecuted as one umbrella crime, known as Driving Under the Influence, or DUI. A DUI crime is committed when a person is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated from drug or alcohol consumption.
Under Georgia law, an individual can also be charged with a DUI if they have consumed the vapor of aerosol or glue or another intoxicating vapor and are under the influence of it while driving. In fact, the only substances of use that are exempt from the law are substances that are being used because they have been prescribed to the driver.
Blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, is a measurement that can determine how much alcohol is in your system at a given period of time. The state of Georgia has defined BAC limits, which determine whether or not you have consumed too much alcohol to be behind the wheel.
For regular drivers, the BAC should never be over 0.08%, and for commercial vehicle drivers, the BAC maximum is 0.04%. For drivers under 21, they cannot have a BAC that exceeds 0.02%. In Georgia, your BAC level has to be under the aforementioned amounts within three hours from the time you start operating a motor vehicle.
When it comes to measuring whether you are under the influence of any drugs other than alcohol, other tests than BAC are used. Blood and urine tests are used to detect marijuana and other substances in your body, and any traces of these substances being found can be grounds for a DUI charge.
In the Peach State, all DUI charges are classified as misdemeanors unless some extreme circumstances arise. In the case that an individual gets three or more DUIs in a time period of ten years, the defendant fled the DUI scene, or the driver’s actions resulted in harm or death of other people or a person’s unborn fetus, then the charges will be classified as a felony.
For a first and second DUI offense, license suspension time can range from one to three years. The maximum jail time is one year, and the maximum fine caps at $1,000 dollars. A third DUI offense not within the ten-year mark can lead to a maximum of one year in jail, up to $5,000 dollars in fines, and license suspension for five years.
Speaking with a legal professional can better help you understand the current legal situation and penalties related to Georgia DUI arrests and convictions. Whether you are facing minor DUI charges or severe repeat-offense DUI charges, working with a McDonough, GA, DUI Attorney can help you protect your rights as a driver in Georgia.
As of 2024, there are not any recent laws that have dramatically shifted the legal landscape for charging and convicting DUI cases in Georgia. However, it’s important to note that a law passed in 2019 asserted that the refusal of a breathalyzer test cannot be held against an individual in court. However, the refusal of a blood or urine test can still be held against a person in court.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, then it is important to appeal your license suspension within 30 days of your arrest. If you miss this critical time window, then the Georgia Department of Drivers Services will automatically take away your driving privileges for one year after the time of your arrest.
In Georgia, the state has within two years from the date of the DUI incident to file DUI charges against the defendant. Any DUI crime prosecuted after this time period cannot lead to conviction from the court system. However, it’s important to note that this time period is only fixed at two years for misdemeanor DUI charges.
If you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, regardless of the severity of the crime and whether or not you have a criminal driving record, unfortunately, you will be required to spend at least 24 hours in jail. If you already have been convicted of a DUI, you will likely have to spend more time in jail. As the number of repeat offenses increases, so does the mandatory minimum jail time.
Having your driving privileges revoked can be worrying, especially if you are facing a third or greater DUI offense and up to five years of license suspension. When it comes to mounting a strong DUI defense, it’s important to work with legal professionals who are well-informed about the current DUI rules and regulations in Georgia. The legal team at Miller North & Brill can help you understand your rights on the road during hearings and in the courtroom. Schedule a consultation to start working with us today.
Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required