All drivers in Georgia can be arrested if they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or more. However, individuals under 21 can be charged for underage drinking and driving if they have anything over .02% of alcohol in their blood. Some people can exceed this limit after a shot, a beer or one glass of wine. It doesn’t matter if their driving is impaired or not. Georgia is tough on drivers under the age of 21 because it’s illegal for minors to drink any alcohol at all. A DUI is a serious matter. If you or your child has been arrested, you need to reach out to an experienced DUI lawyer in Georgia.
Dealing with these charges can be challenging. However, if you have a good lawyer on your side, they will fight for the best outcome. They will examine witness testimonies, forensic evidence and all the other information relevant to the case. If we can get the charges dropped, we will. If that’s not possible, we’ll do everything we can to secure the best possible outcome.
How the Implied Consent Law Affects Drivers Under 21
Drivers are required to submit to chemical testing of their breath, blood or urine if suspected of a DUI. By deciding to drive on the state’s roads, you agree to this testing. Your refusal may be used against you in court. If you agree to the test and the results indicate you are over the legal limit, your license may be suspended. You could be without driving privileges for a minimum of one year. After you take the state’s tests, you have the right to take additional tests at your own expense.
If you refuse to take the test, you can still face a charge of DUI less safe. The police may charge you with DUI less safe if you were speeding, driving recklessly or otherwise seemed impaired. Your driver’s license could be suspended for at least one year. Regardless of if you’re charged with DUI less safe or DUI per se, you’ll need help from an Atlanta DUI lawyer.
Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving in Georgia
Getting arrested and charged for driving under the influence can be very frightening for young people. Some of the possible penalties first-time underage drivers can face upon conviction include:
- Suspension of their driver’s license for a minimum of six months
- A minimum of 24 hours in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
A second conviction within ten years carries stiffer penalties. Young people face fines of up to $1000, up to 12 months in jail, and at least 30 days of community service. Meanwhile, a third DUI conviction within ten years is considered a high and aggravated misdemeanor. The fines can be as high as $5000 and the individual can spend up to 12 months in jail. People charged with high and aggravated misdemeanors serve more time and get less credit for good behavior.
While Georgia’s laws are designed to deter underage drinking and driving, there are some allowances made for young drivers. Judges have the discretion to allow them to serve jail time during non-working hours or on the weekend. First-offenders are also housed separately from other jail inmates.
Being charged with a DUI does not result in automatic conviction. As with all criminal accusations, there are defenses to DUI charges. Your lawyer may argue that the BAC reading was due to something other than drinking. They may also argue that the tests were not properly administered or the evidence was weak.
If your plead guilty or get convicted, there’s no way to predict exactly how a judge will punish you. Several factors can reduce or even eliminate the amount of time you have to spend in jail. If you behave well in custody or take part in an alternative work program, you may get a favorable outcome. It’s important to have a lawyer who will do everything possible to keep the punishment to a minimum.
Contact Howard and Arca for Legal Advice Today!
If the police charged you with DUI or your teenager is in trouble for underage drinking and driving, reach out to us. The situation is serious, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. DUI convictions can result in jail time, loss of employment, loss of scholarships and other negative consequences. However, working with a skilled, experienced attorney can help to minimize the damage. We are experts in Georgia’s DUI laws, and we work hard to get the best outcome for each client. Contact our DUI attorneys in Atlanta, GA today to schedule a consultation.