DUI Laws in Georgia:
Everything You Need to Know About

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What Is a DUI Conviction?

DUI refers to the offense of driving or operating machinery while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Driving or operating machinery while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered a serious offense in Georgia because it affects society significantly.

DUI-related charges usually require a DUI defense attorney, especially when facing a suspension of your license.

Roswell DUI lawyer can offer you legal representation to ensure you are treated fairly by the Georgia justice system. A Georgia DUI attorney can help you avoid license suspension if you are a first-time DUI offender or help you get a limited driving permit.


Georgia DUI Laws


Georgia DUI laws are found in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). These laws guide the prosecution of DUI convictions in a court of law. Depending on the alcohol intoxication level, drug use risk reduction, and type of drug or substance abuse, DUI penalties are divided into many categories. Consulting with DUI defense attorneys can help you understand these different types of DUI cases, how the substance abuse treatment program work, and how the administrative license suspension hearing works.

Types of DUI Charges in Georgia

In Georgia, a DUI conviction may result from the two most common types of DUI charges: the DUI less safe charge and the DUI per se charge.

The Less Safe DUI Charge

The DUI less safe charge is under Georgia code OCGA 40-6-391. The term “less safe” refers to a driver who is less safe to drive after taking an intoxicating substance, alcohol, or drug use before or while driving.

Prosecutors don’t have to prove that you had a certain level of alcohol or drugs in your system when prosecuting a DUI less safe offense. They can use evidence of impairment, such as:

  • Driving erratically
  • Physical Manifestations
  • Bloodshot, watery eyes
  • Stumbling or Swaying
  • Slurred speech
  • Admitting to using alcohol or drugs
  • Having evidence of alcohol or drugs in your vehicle

The Per Se DUI Charge

In a “per se” DUI charge, the driver must have a certain amount of drugs or alcohol in their bloodstream. Georgia, like all states, has DUI laws prohibiting driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over a specific limit. In Georgia, that limit is 0.08% or with intoxicating drugs in your system.

For a per se charge to be successful, the prosecutor must prove the presence of an intoxicating substance using a breath, blood, or urine test. For example:

  • Individuals will be charged with DUI under Georgia’s OCGA 40-6-391 code if their alcohol content exceeds 0.08% within 3 hours of driving.
  • According to OCGA 16-13-21, driving while under the influence of marijuana, even in small amounts, is unlawful and may result in a drug DUI conviction.

If you need help understanding these Georgia DUI penalties, contact an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer and get a free no-obligation consultation.

Georgia DUI Consequences and Penalties

According to Georgia law, DUIs are punished based on prior DUI convictions. The more DUI convictions a person gets, the more complicated and severe the consequences are.

For first-time offenders, the following mandatory minimum Georgia DUI penalties and consequences may apply:

  • 12 months incarceration, where all but 24 hours can be served on probation
  • Suspension or revocation of their driver’s license
  • A minimum fine of $300 and a maximum of $1000
  • A minimum of 40 hours of community service
  • Attendance of the DUI Risk Reduction school
  • Substance abuse evaluation and recommended treatment

For repeat DUI offenders, the consequences could include the following:

  • Additional Jail time and probation time
  • Fines ranging from $700 to $5000
  • Attendance of DUI Risk Reduction school
  • License suspension with no permits
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Surrender of vehicle license plates
  • At least 240 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse evaluation and recommended treatment
  • Enrollment and completion of a treatment program

This might also include community service in any of the Georgia Department, probationary license issuance, and others. The consequences of a DUI charge for any of the divers of driver services with a subsequent DUI conviction would be hard to manage on your own. Consulting with an experienced Georgia DUI lawyer will help you with your DUI case.

How a DUI Attorney Can Help You

In case of a felony DUI, which could result in significant jail time, you would be best served by getting in touch with an Atlanta criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Other ways that a DUI attorney will help you include:

  1. Gathering evidence relating to your case
  2. Ensuring that your rights are protected during the whole process of arrest and prosecution
  3. Representing you in court and defending your DUI charge while helping you avoid the penalties altogether or reduce them
  4. Preparing you and your case with mitigation evidence

A DUI attorney will take necessary action right from your DUI arrests and help you protect your rights and driving privileges through his expertise. If you have had any prior convictions of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated, your lawyer will help you navigate through the driver’s license penalties and DUI charges with a sound defense strategy.

Reach Out to a Qualified DUI Lawyer in Georgia

If you are in Fulton County and have been arrested for a DUI charge, quickly make contact with a qualified DUI lawyer. It is essential to do this, as anything you say without an attorney present can be used against you in a court of law.

You can reach Chehimi Law LLC by calling us at (470) 458-3842 to schedule a free consultation with a Georgia DUI lawyer. You will also be assured of an excellent attorney-client relationship as the lawyer works on your DUI alcohol or drug case.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do You Lose Your License After Your First DUI Conviction in Georgia?

Yes. You will lose your Georgia driver’s license for 12 months. This also applies if it is your first DUI case in 5 years. However, you could be eligible for a limited permit, so it is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your license rights are protected.


How Long Does a DUI in Georgia Stay On Your Record?

A DUI charge stays on your record forever. Due to the serious nature of driving under the influence, Georgia has this law. For information on how you can handle your records, consult with an experienced attorney.


Is a DUI in Georgia a Felony?

A DUI becomes a felony when you are charged for the fourth time in under ten years. This may attract more punishment and penalties, including the incarceration of up to 5 years.


Is Jail Time Mandatory for First DUI in Georgia?

Not necessarily – every case, judge, and jurisdiction is different. Some jurisdictions will waive all the jail time. Some will waive all but 24 hours. It is important to speak to a qualified DUI lawyer to ensure you are fully informed and prepared for your case.


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