Know about the possible penalties for a first DUI offense in Georgia with our criminal lawyer, Michael Fulcher
Georgia has two distinct charges for drivers who operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both. They are known as “DUI less safe,” or “impairment DUI,” and “DUI per se.”
What is DUI?
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is the offense of driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication taken at a level which impairs the ability to drive safely.
It is also known by several other names in various jurisdictions.
In Georgia, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you’ll likely be charged for a “DUI per se,” whether you are fit to drive or consider yourself not impaired.
Criminal Penalties for a First DUI Offense in Georgia
Fine and Penalties for a First DUI Conviction
Even for a first-time offender, a DUI charge can be costly. Fines can range from $300 to $1,000. But this figure can increase by almost double once additional surcharges are included.
To satisfy legal requirements and reinstate their driver’s license with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS), individuals charged with DUI must complete a 20-hour course called the DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
Jail Time for a First DUI Offense
In general, a first-time DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor. If convicted, the judge may impose a sentence of up to 12 months in county jail. If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or more, the law mandates at least 24 hours of jail time.
If sentenced for a DUI offense, the total duration of the sentence must be at least one year.
For first-time offenders, a significant portion of this sentence is typically spent on probation instead of incarceration. During this period of probation, individuals are required to pay a supervision fee and will be monitored by a probation officer to ensure all requirements of the sentence are being met.
Driver’s License Penalties for First DUI Offenses in Georgia
A DUI penalty can also result in the suspension of your driver’s license. If a driver over the age of 21 is convicted of their first non-drug-related DUI offense, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will suspend their license for 12 months.
The driver can also have their license limited based on an individual’s driving history. They may be allowed to drive to and from work, school, and other authorized destinations.
In some scenarios, the driver can have their license suspended for 120 days.
DUI Drug Penalties in Georgia
Suppose an individual’s DUI conviction is related to drug use. In that case, they will be subject to different rules pertaining to the suspension of their driver’s license, especially if it is a DUI under 21.
DUI convictions can result in the suspension of a license for a period of 180 days. For reinstatement, however, the same requirements apply as would an alcohol-related DUI, including completing the Risk Reduction Program and paying a fee.
Contact a First DUI Offense Attorney In Georgia
Michael Fulcher Law knows DUI law, with over 17 years of experience as a prosecutor, public defender, and privately retained defense counsel. That experience includes a deep understanding of DUI law, criminal procedure, and familiarity with all players—police, prosecutors, and judges—in Morgan, Greene, Putnam, Taliaferro, and Jasper Counties. Call us at (706) 438-1555 or contact us.
Michael Fulcher can fiercely defend your legal rights, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and advise you on a course of action that is in your best interests.
Call or email now to schedule a free consultation. Your free consultation with Michael Fulcher Law is confidential and covered by attorney-client privilege. Your frank answers to all questions will assure a realistic assessment of the charges so that we can advise you on your rights, defenses, and how to proceed.