Getting arrested for DUI is a serious thing. Thankfully, most of us will make it through our entire lives without ever getting charged with something like DUI. But all it takes is a night out with friends to lead to a bad decision.
The DUI laws and penalties in Georgia are getting stricter and stricter. The state simply is not willing to tolerate drunk driving. The number of people dying in drunk driving accidents is just too high. The problem is, it doesn’t seem like people are deterred by the DUI laws.
So, the legislatures are making the penalties for DUI more severe. They figure, if people are going to insist on drinking and driving, they’ll pay the price.
If you get stopped and charged with DUI, you’re going to need a good DUI defense lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia. You will be arrested and you’ll have to go to court. If you have any hope of getting the charges dismissed or reduced, it’s in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
What is the DUI Law in Georgia?
Before you worry about the penalties in Georgia for DUI, you need to know what the DUI law is. You need to do your best to avoid getting arrested for DUI. This way, you won’t have to worry about the penalties.
There are actually two ways you can be charged with DUI in Georgia. The first is called DUI. This is when a police officer stops you and determines that you’re driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The other is called DUI per-se. This is when a blood or chemical test determines that your blood alcohol content is over .08%. This can also be determined at the scene using a portable breathalyzer.
If the police pull you over and suspect you’ve been drinking, they can have you perform a field sobriety test. This is a series of tests designed to test your fine motor skills and coordination. As you become intoxicated, you lose these skills. The test is meant to let an officer know if you’re too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle.
If you’re found to either be intoxicated, per the field sobriety tests or have a BAC over .08, you’ll be arrested and charged with DUI.
What are the Penalties for DUI?
As with most other laws, the penalties for DUI get worse with repeated offenses. But even a first offense DUI can lead to very severe penalties. Your DUI lawyer in Atlanta will do their best to get the charges reduced or dismissed. However, you do need to know what penalties you’re facing.
For a first offense DUI in Georgia, the penalties are as follows:
- Up to 12-months probation
- $300 in fines plus additional surcharges
- Up to 10 days in jail
- At least 40 hours of community service
- Substance abuse treatment or counseling
- Mandatory attendance of DUI Risk Reduction School
- Suspension of your driver’s license
If you get arrested and charged with your second DUI, there are going to be more severe penalties. Here are the penalties for a second DUI in Georgia:
- 1 to 3 years’ probation
- Fines anywhere from $600-$1,000
- 90 days to 1 year in jail
- DUI school
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device for 4 months
After your second offense, you’ll become something called a habitual offender. Hopefully, you’re not in this situation. If you are, the penalties are quite severe. And, it’s very hard for your lawyer to get your charged reduced. The prosecutor looks at you like someone with a history of DUI. They’re not going to be lenient.
What Can a DUI Lawyer in Atlanta Do to Help?
If you’re charged with DUI, you will be arrested. If you can post bail, you’ll be released within a day or two. You’ll get your one phone call. That call should be to an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer.
You’re up against some pretty serious charges. You don’t want to handle this yourself. A lawyer can work with the prosecutor to try to get your charge dismissed. They’ll also go to court on your behalf. They’ll prepare your case and come up with as many defenses as possible.
If you’ve been charged with DUI, you should call a DUI attorney in Atlanta as soon as possible. You’ll face your first court date within a week or so. You want to give your lawyer as much time as possible to prepare for court.
Call Howard & Arca today and schedule your risk-free initial consultation.