March 24, 2019

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Georgia DUI Law

Atlanta Law Firms

DUI is a very serious charge in Georgia, with tough penalties some of which go into effect before you go to trial and without the need for a conviction. Georgia DUI Law is aggressively enforced, particularly in the Atlanta area, but that does not mean that you cannot beat a DUI charge.

Automatic Suspension of Your Driver’s License

If you have been charged with DUI, the first thing you need to know is that you only have 10 days to request an Administrative License Suspension hearing or your driver’s license will be automatically suspended.

At the hearing you must present compelling evidence in order to keep your license. This administrative hearing is separate from your criminal case.

Georgia DUI Consequences

DUI penalties are harsh, and the conviction stays on your record for the rest of your life. It can cost you career options, and under certain circumstances you can even lose custody of your children.

DUI first conviction penalties can include:

  • 24 hours to one year in jail
  • Fines of $300 to $1,000
  • At least 40 hours community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to one year
  • Possible clinical evaluation and treatment

For a second DUI penalties can include:

  • Three days to one year jail time
  • $600 to $1,000 fine
  • Minimum 240 hours community service
  • Driver’s license suspension up to three years
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Mandatory clinical evaluation and treatment

Penalties for your third DUI conviction can include:

  • 15 days to one year in jail
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fine
  • Minimum 240 hours community service
  • Driver’s license suspension up to five years
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Mandatory clinical evaluation and treatment
  • Confiscation of your license plates
  • Your photo, name, and address published in your local newspaper

These are just some of the penalties you can face. Many of these punishments, such as any classes and installation of an interlock device, are at your expense.

Other factors, such as an accident, injuries, or death can result in much more serious consequences. If a child under 14 years old as in the vehicle, you can be charged with child endangerment.

Georgia DUI Defense

As grim as your prospects may seem, there are many defenses which may be raised on your behalf. Because DUI carries such stiff penalties, there are strict rules for DUI arrests and gathering of evidence. Mistakes made by over-eager law enforcement can work in your favor. Examples of defenses against a DUI charge include:

  • Invalid traffic stop
  • Lack of probable cause for DUI arrest
  • Improper administration of breath test
  • Failure to properly advise you of your rights