Georgia DUIs and DWIs
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Per Georgia DUI laws, it is illegal for motorists to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. GA Department of Driver Services (DDS) and the courts impose serious DUI penalties on drivers who fail to adhere to the aforementioned laws. Such punishment is implemented in the form of mandatory license suspension or revocation, large fines, jail time and more. Motorists who have incurred a driver’s license suspension will need to restore their driving privileges by completing the requirements set by the DDS. For more information about DUI charges in Georgia and the applicable punishments, read the sections below.
DUI Citations and Convictions in Georgia
Motorists who are not able to dismiss their GA DUI ticket, and are therefore convicted of an alcohol-related offense, will be subject to tough penalties. Once drivers receive a DUI conviction, the presiding court must report the conviction to the Department of Driver Services. When GA DDS receives notification of the conviction, the department will place it on the offender’s driving record and will take further action against his or her privilege to drive. Note that drivers with an out of state DUI will also be penalized by Georgia courts and motor vehicle agency.
Georgia DUI Violations and Penalties
You are in violation of the set drunk driving laws in GA for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or over the legal limit or for refusing to submit to a chemical test when asked by a police officer. The consequences will vary depending on the circumstances of your violation. If you have already committed a similar DUI offense and have more than one conviction on your driving report, for instance, be prepared to serve longer driving suspension periods and pay greater fines. Other factors that contribute to tougher penalties are your age and BAC level at the time of testing.
First DUI Offense
Adult drivers convicted of a DUI for the first time will be subject to a 120-day driving license suspension and will be required to pay a reinstatement fee currently set at $210. Enrollment in specialized DUI classes is also a requirement in such instances. Motorists who refuse to submit to a chemical testing for the first time may incur an increased license suspension for a period of one year.
Second DUI Offense
If you are convicted of a second DUI in Georgia within a period of five years, you will incur a license suspension for 18 months and a fee of $210. Second DUI convictions will also require you to attend an alcohol-related traffic school program and install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your motor vehicle.
Third DUI Offense
Motorists with three GA DUI offenses on their driving transcript will incur a five-year license suspension and a restoration fee of $410. The requirements to enroll in DUI courses and install an IID apply in this case, as well. Motorists with a third DUI conviction may be eligible to obtain a limited driving permit, allowing them to drive during their suspension period for work or school.
Underage DUI Offenses
DUI violations committed by drivers younger than 21 years of age will lead to even harsher penalties, as minors are generally more inclined to cause vehicle accidents due to their inexperience. Therefore, motorists between 16 and 20 years of age who get a DUI for the first time will have their driver’s license or permit suspended for six months. A Georgia DUI conviction for a BAC at .08 percent or more will also lead to a license suspension but for a period of 12 months in addition to any fines and fees. The seriousness of the consequences imposed on minors typically depends on their age and BAC level.
Note: Other sanctions (fines, jail sentences) may apply in addition to the aforementioned punishments.
Drinking and Driving in Georgia
State agencies enforce strict DUI laws as they recognize the negative effects of alcohol and other intoxicants on safe driving practices. The penalties issued to drivers who fail to stay in accordance with the aforementioned laws will be even more severe, as consuming alcoholic beverages while operating a vehicle may lead to serious car accidents resulting in bodily injuries and fatalities. GA DUI and DWI offenders with more than one conviction on their driving record will incur the toughest penalties as a result of their misconduct.
Georgia DUI Attorneys
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia and are at risk of being convicted, consider hiring an experienced drunk driving attorney. They will help you prepare a strong defense and resolve your case with a positive outcome. The benefits of engaging the services of a good DUI defense attorney in GA are numerous, as your lawyer can help you fill out any required paperwork, guide you through court proceedings and advise you on the best course of action. Prior to seeking help from an attorney, however, inspect the credentials of several candidates so as to find the one who best fits your needs.
Georgia Open Container Laws
In order to avoid incurring steep drunk driving fines and other potential penalties, Georgia drivers must also abide by the state open container law. Per this rule, drivers will receive serious GA drunk driving charges if they are caught operating with an open alcoholic beverage container in the vehicle’s passenger area.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Georgia
If you have a suspended license because of a DUI and wish to restore your credentials, you will need to follow the steps set by the Department of Driver Services. Adult drivers who have incurred a DUI driver’s license suspension due to a first offense, for instance, will need to complete a 120-day penalty period before starting the restoration process. In addition to this, motorists must submit proof of a completed DUI course, as well as payment for the applicable reinstatement fees. Note that other requirements, such as presenting proof of future financial responsibility and installing an IID may also apply.
Georgia Alcohol Awareness Classes
If you are convicted for driving under the influence, you must enroll into a DDS-approved DUI course, also known as DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. These GA DUI classes generally consist of two parts, including assessment and intervention components. Only motorists who successfully complete both of them will receive a certificate, which they can then submit to a local Georgia DDS office to help reinstate their license.
Georgia SR-22 Insurance
Part of the steps to reinstate a suspended license in most states is filing proof of financial responsibility with the appropriate motor vehicle department and maintaining it for a specific period of time. Motorists in Georgia may also be obliged to submit proof of DUI insurance (SR-22 form) upon committing this type of violation and keep it on file with the DDS for a period of one year. Contact a nearby DDS location to learn whether or not this requirement applies to your case.
Georgia Laws That Pertain to DUIs
Per drunk driving laws, it is illegal for drivers to refuse a chemical testing or operate a vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicant that impairs their driving ability. Therefore, motorists will incur severe DUI charges for the following amounts of alcohol in their system, depending on their age:
- .08 percent or higher for drivers 21 years of age or older
- .02 percent for minors (drivers younger than 21 years of age)
Motorists who violate GA DUI laws on implied consent by refusing to undergo a chemical test will be subject to increased license suspensions and other penalties.
Hardship License in Georgia
Motorists with a suspended driver’s license in Georgia may obtain a limited driving permit that restricts the locations and purposes for which they are allowed to drive. These usually include travelling to work, college and school or attending a required DUI course among other reasons. However, drivers convicted of specific DUI offenses will not be eligible for this limited credential. For example, the DDS does not approve the issuance of a limited permit to motorists suspended for chemical test refusal.