First DUI Penalties in Georgia

At Chehimi Law, our DUI attorney can explain the first DUI penalties in Georgia. Contact us today.

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Georgia Laws for First-Offense DUI

Driving under the influence (DUI) is dangerous for you and others on the road. Georgia has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, with serious consequences. Under Georgia law, a DUI involves driving after the consumption of drugs or alcohol. It also includes driving under the influence of other illegal substances or even prescription drugs.

As per Georgia DUI laws, a driver should have been physically controlling a moving motor vehicle while intoxicated. Georgia DUI law prohibits a driver from being in physical control of a vehicle if:

  • They are driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other controlled substances.
  • Their blood has an alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. For drivers operating commercial vehicles, the legal limit of BAC is capped at 0.04%. While for drivers under 21 years old, a BAC of 0.02% or more is illegal.
  • They have detectable traces of illegal drugs or marijuana in their blood or urine.

A DUI arrest/conviction has a severe impact on your life. Therefore, hiring the right Georgia DUI lawyer may be crucial. Your DUI attorney will try to mitigate the damages of your arrest. They will also advocate for you while answering questions involving the DUI case process.

What Happens When You Get a First DUI in Georgia?

Having a DUI conviction can have severe consequences in Georgia. The penalties for a first DUI conviction can range from fines to possible jail time. When arrested for a first DUI in Georgia, you could face the following consequences:

  • Fines
  • Possible jail time
  • Probation
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Community service
  • Alcohol and drug counseling
  • Drug and alcohol treatment program
  • Attending DUI school

DUI charges are ineligible under the Georgia First Offender Act. Thus, there is no expungement for your conviction. This means that you are more likely to face harsh penalties.

The law makes an exception for persons using prescription drugs. But what if the prescription drug affects or impairs their conduct, making driving unsafe? In such cases, they could be charged with prescription drug DUI in Georgia.

Georgia DUI Penalties for First-Time Offenses

The penalties for a first DUI conviction in Georgia depend on various factors. You could face the following penalties:


Georgia first-time DUI offense fines can range from $300 to $1000.

Jail Time for a First DUI in Georgia

In Georgia, a first DUI offense is a misdemeanor. If your BAC was 0.08% or more, you could get a maximum sentence of 12 months in the county jail. The minimum applicable sentence is 24 hours in jail which might be waived in some instances.

Probation for a First DUI in Georgia

For a first DUI offense, you are more likely to receive probation instead of jail time. While on probation, you have to pay the supervision fee. You will also have a probation officer monitor you to ensure the completion of your sentence.

DUI probation also has conditions that include the following:

  • Community service
  • No alcohol and drug use
  • Random alcohol and drug screening
  • Attending DUI school
  • Reporting to the probation officer
  • Taking alcohol and drug courses and treatment
  • Suspension of your driver’s license

Receiving another DUI charge while on probation is a serious offense. You will risk having your probation for your existing DUI charge revoked and face jail time.

License Penalties for a First DUI in Georgia

A DUI conviction also leads to the suspension of your Georgia driver’s license. This suspension lasts up to 12 months for drivers over 21. You may be allowed a limited driving permit depending on your driving record.

Also, you can request an early license reinstatement after 120 days. However, you have to submit the following to the Department of Driver Services:

  1. A certificate showing completion of a state-approved Risk Reduction Program.
  2. A license reinstatement fee of $200 or $210, respectively, if you request reinstatement by mail or in person. 

But, if your conviction is drug-related, you may face a 180-day license suspension.

DUI School for First-Time Conviction

If you get a DUI conviction, you might need to attend DUI classes at state-approved DUI schools. You will need to complete a Risk Reduction Program course. This course is crucial for your driver’s reinstatement by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).

The time for completion may depend on various factors, but the course has 20 hours, which can take less than a week to complete.

Suppose you attend DUI school before your trial; it might be beneficial. You will likely be able to reinstate your license if 30 days have passed since your administrative license suspension hearing and you have completed 20 hours of DUI school.

Community Service and Substance Abuse Counseling

Besides the above penalties, you have to complete 40 hours of mandatory community service. You may also have to take an alcohol or drug dependency screening/evaluation. Suppose the evaluation proves you need treatment. In such cases, you will be expected to complete various counseling sessions.

How Long Can a DUI Stay on My Driving Record in Georgia?

Any DUI conviction in Georgia can have a permanent criminal record. While there is no expungement for DUI convictions, you can file an appeal and win the case. The court may dismiss your case or overturn the ruling. In that case, the prosecution attorney might allow the removal of the charge from your record. 

Possible Defense for DUI Charges in Georgia

In Georgia, the prosecution has to prove that you were physically controlling a moving vehicle while intoxicated. Your criminal defense attorney can attack those claims by showing that:

  • The actual police stop was unlawful; therefore, the evidence is inadmissible.
  • Lack of evidence on whether you were in actual physical control of the vehicle.
  • The B.A.C. test was invalid; therefore, the evidence cannot prove you were intoxicated.

Contact an Atlanta DUI Lawyer for Assistance Today!

While facing DUI charges, having an attorney who understands the laws can be very effective. Faulty tests and illegal search and seizure can affect your case immensely. That’s why you need an Atlanta criminal lawyer for your case.

Established in 2017, the super lawyers of Chehimi Law offer a compassionate and rigorous defense for every established and new client. Contact us for a free consultation and professional legal counsel today.


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