DUI DWI

NEW Changes to Georgia DUI Laws:  The 2008 session of the Georgia Legislature made some important fundamental changes to DUI Law.  For offenses committed after July 1, 2008 there will be 10 year ‘”look back” window for determining minimum penalties and drivers license suspension periods.  Also, a fourth offense in 10 years will be a felony.

Note: A DUI arrest in Georgia may leave you only ten business days to request a hearing or your license will be suspended. See below.

The “10 Day Letter”
Generally speaking, a DUI arrest in Georgia, when accompanied by any of the following circumstances, means that you need to request a hearing within ten business days from the date of arrest:

The arresting officer alleges that you refused to take a blood, breath or urine test at his request;

You are 21 years of age or older and tested .08 or higher.;

You were driving a commercial vehicle and tested .04 or higher; or

You are under 21 years of age and tested .02 or higher.

Should any of these conditions apply and you do not request a hearing, then the State of Georgia will suspend your license on the 31st day after your arrest.   If the officer reported that you “refused” a blood, breath or urine test, then this suspension will be for one year with no limited permit at all (i.e., no work permit).   Thus, requesting this hearing can be critical to protecting your privilege to drive.

Caution: When any of the above conditions apply and the arresting officer intends to seek an administrative license suspension, then he should give you a DPS Form 1205 explaining that you have 10 days to request a hearing.   Although it ought to happen that way, sometimes an officer seeks an administrative licence suspension in   a case when he failed to give the driver a copy of the 1205. The officer’s failure to give you a copy of the 1205 will probably not save your license if he still sends a copy to the DMVS. Remember that the ten-day rule may apply even if you do not think you met the above conditions, as long as the officer thinks that you did. (For example, you may not think that you refused the test, but the officer may think that you did.   This is actually a fairly common scenario.)

In an abundance of caution, we usually recommend a ten day letter even if you don’t think that the above conditions apply. Better safe than sorry.

The Eight Ways That A Person Can Be Charged With DUI In Georgia
Section 40-6-391 of Official Code of Georgia provides a total of eight possible ways for a person to be charged with driving under the influence.

For any driver, 40-6-391(a)(1-6) gives six ways for a person to be considered DUI by stating that a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while:

Under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive;

Under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive;

Under the intentional influence of any glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive;

Under the combined influence of any two or more of the substances specified in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive;

The person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended; or

Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section, there is any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance, as defined in Code Section 16-13-21, present in the person’s blood or urine, or both, including the metabolites and derivatives of each or both without regard to whether or not any alcohol is present in the person’s breath or blood.

Plus, for commercial drivers, 40-6-391(i) provides that:

A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving commercial motor vehicle while there is 0.04 percent or more by weight of alcohol in such person’s blood, breath, or urine.

And, for drivers under 21 years of age, 40-6-391(k)(1) that:

A person under the age of 21 shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.02 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended.

Penalties For DUI Convictions In Georgia

We provide a description of Georgia DUI penalties below in order to give you a basic understanding of what you may be facing when adjudicated guilty of DUI in Georgia. Penalties may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances of each individual case. We do not intend this information to serve as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified Georgia attorney.

FOR ALL GEORGIA DRIVERS 21 YEARS OF AGE & OLDER:

For a first DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 24 hours if you tested .08 or higher, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $300 to $1000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 40 hours.

License Suspension: One year, but you may be eligible for a limited permit during that time if you submitted to a blood, breath or urine test. Note: This license suspension may be separate and differ from the administrative license suspension discussed above.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Usually ordered by the court, with follow up treatment required as recommended by the evaluation.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For a second DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 72 hours, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $600 to $1000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 30 days.

License Suspension: Maximum of three years, but you may be eligible for early reinstatement after one year with an ignition interlock device.

License plates: Confiscated.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Mandatory.

Your photograph: In the local newspaper at your expense.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For a third DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 15 days, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $1000 to $5000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 30 days.

License Revocation: As a “habitual violator” your license will be revoked for five years. After two years you may be eligible for a probationary license with an ignition interlock.

License plates: Confiscated.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Mandatory.

Your photograph: In the local newspaper at your expense.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

FOR GEORGIA DRIVERS UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE:

For a first DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 24 hours if you tested .08 or higher, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $300 to $1000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 40 hours if tested .08 or higher, 20 hours if tested below .08.

License Suspension: 12 months if tested .08 or higher, 6 months if tested below .08. No work permit available.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For a second DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 72 hours, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $600 to $1000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 30 days.

License Suspension: Maximum of three years, but you may be eligible for early reinstatement after 18 months with an ignition interlock device.

License plates: Confiscated.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Mandatory.

Your photograph: In the local newspaper at your expense.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For a third DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 15 days, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $1000 to $5000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 30 days.

License Revocation: As a “habitual violator” your license will be revoked for five years. After two and a half years you may be eligible for a probationary license.

License plates: Confiscated.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Mandatory.

Your photograph: In the local newspaper at your expense.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

FOR GEORGIA DRIVERS OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLES :

For a first DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 24 hours if you tested .08 or higher, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $300 to $1000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 40 hours.

License Suspension: Same suspensions as that shown above for other drivers, plus a one year disqualification from holding a CDL. And, there is no such thing as a “CDL work permit.”

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For a second DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 72 hours, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $600 to $1000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 30 days.

License Suspension: Maximum of three years, but you may be eligible for early reinstatement after one year with an ignition interlock device. Disqualified from obtaining a CDL for life.

License plates: Confiscated.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Mandatory.

Your photograph: In the local newspaper at your expense.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For a third DUI within five years:

Jail time: Minimum of 15 days, maximum of 12 months.

Fines: $1000 to $5000, plus court costs and statutory fees.

Community service: Minimum of 30 days.

License Revocation: As a “habitual violator” your license will be revoked for five years. After two years you may be eligible for a probationary license with an ignition interlock. Disqualified from obtaining a CDL for life.

License plates: Confiscated.

Drug & alcohol dependency evaluation: Mandatory.

Your photograph: In the local newspaper at your expense.

DUI school (called the Risk Reduction Program.)

Twelve months probation.

For all drivers:   Note that for second DUI within five years, you cannot drive at all for at least one full year.   For a third DUI within five years, please note that you cannot drive at all for at least two years.   For a fourth DUI you may be facing felony charges.

GeorgiaFelonyDefense.com is a website presented for the purpose of advertising legal services only.  The information on this website, while hopefully of value to you, should not be considered as a substitute for legal advice from a trained Georgia lawyer familiar with the facts of your situation.