Penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia

by | Feb 19, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Georgia law prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol level exceeds .08%. Furthermore, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by substances such as marijuana, cocaine or prescription medication. You may face additional penalties for refusing to submit to a urine, blood or Breathalyzer test, and this is generally true regardless of whether you are actually under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Your license will be suspended

For a first drunk driving offense, you will face having your driver’s license suspended for at least 120 days. However, you must complete an education program and pay a $200 fee to get it back. Otherwise, your driving privileges will be revoked for 12 months. Your license will be suspended for three years if you hurt or kill someone while driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

You might spend time in jail

Depending on the facts of your case, you could spend at least 24 hours in jail even if you have no criminal record. If you have been convicted of DUI in the past, you could spend anywhere from 10 to 365 days in custody. However, a judge does have the authority to suspend your sentence.

You can be fined up to $5,000

A misdemeanor drunk driving conviction comes with a fine of up to $1,000. However, a felony DUI conviction carries a fine of up to $5,000, but a judge does have some leeway in determining if you must pay the full amount. Furthermore, it may be possible to pay the fine over a period of several months if submitting a lump sum would cause a financial hardship.

If you are charged with DUI, it may be a good idea to hire an attorney to help with your case. He or she may be able to get a charge dismissed before trial, negotiate a plea deal or take other steps to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.