Greene County, GA DUI Frequently Asked Questions

Greene County DUI Lawyer

Yes, you can refuse to take a roadside breathalyzer test without legal consequences, although once you refuse you might be arrested immediately.

You can also refuse to take the Intoxilyzer 9000 test once brought to the police station. However, such a refusal results in an administrative suspension of your driver’s license for 12 months., and the police must inform you that your license will be suspended if you refuse. Your Greene County DUI Lawyer must appeal this suspension by requesting an ALS Hearing within 30 days of arrest in order to challenge its imposition.

Your driver’s license will be administratively suspended for 12 months, and the prosecution will go forward with charging you with DUI based on police observations. A refusal to submit to a blood or urine test can be introduced at trial as evidence of guilt. A refusal to submit to a breath test cannot be used against you at trial.

  • Depending on the backlog, it might take 1-4 months to get a court date to begin a prosecution for DUI. There are no strict rules on how long these cases require to resolve. The factors to consider include:
  • What plea is entered—guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre
  • The nature of the evidence in the case
  • The backlog of cases in the county
  • How the prosecution, and defense attorneys gather evidence, and present their cases

As a general rule, a not guilty plea will take longer to resolve than a plea of guilty.

Georgia’s DUI law does not have a first offender act on DUI convictions. A first offense cannot be handled by diversion or withholding judgment.

  • 12-month license suspension
  • 24 hours or up to 12 months in county jail
  • $300-$1,000 fines, plus court costs, and fees
  • 12 months supervised probation with a fee that varies by county at around $40/month
  • Alcohol assessment
  • DUI Risk Reduction class, usually costing $350
  • 40 hours of approved community service
For a second DUI in Georgia, within 10 years of a prior DUI conviction, the penalties are compounded:

  • 18-month license suspension
  • Maximum penalty is up to 12 months in a county jail, although usually a person is sentenced to a minimum of 72 hours in jail
  • 12 months supervised probation with a fee that varies by county at around $40/month
  • $600-$1,000 fines, plus court costs, and fees
  • Alcohol assessment, clinical evaluation
  • DUI Risk Reduction class, usually costing $350
  • 240 hours of community service
  • Maintain an ignition Interlock device on your vehicle for a period of time
  • $25 fee for publishing your photo in the local newspaper where the DUI occurred

Yes, having a prescription is not a defense to driving under the influence. Unlike alcohol, a conviction for drug impairment while driving does not require a specific amount of drugs to be present in blood or urine. Prosecution is based on police observation, and blood or urine test results. Although having a prescription might prevent prosecution for possession of dangerous drugs, it cannot prevent prosecution for driving in a less safe manner due to intoxication.

Georgia law, your driving privileges are conditioned upon an implied agreement to submit to breath, blood, or urine tests upon request by police. A refusal to take these tests is called a DUI Refusal, and can result in automatic suspension of your driver’s license. To appeal this automatic suspension, you must file a request for an ALS Hearing within 30 days of your arrest. That filing costs $150, a fee that must be paid at the time you file the appeal. Your right to drive depends on a timely appeal, so do not delay, and confer with an experienced DUI drug lawyer immediately.

Due to recent court rulings, a blood test is the most commonly requested test by law enforcement for most DUI arrests. A urine test will reveal drug consumption from many days, even weeks ago, way too distant to cause current driving impairment. A common urine test strip will detect marijuana, amphetamines, narcotics, and barbiturates that might no longer be active in your system. A urine sample sent to a laboratory will reveal even minute traces of drugs taken months ago. Blood samples do not detect drugs taken so far in the past. Both blood and urine test results can be challenged since they might not be evidence of current intoxication.

A first DUI drug misdemeanor conviction:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 fine
  • 12 months of probation
  • 40 hours community service
  • Clinical drug, and alcohol evaluation
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 12 months, with limited driving privileges after 6 months

A second DUI drug misdemeanor conviction within 10 years:

  • Minimum jail sentence of 72 hours up to 12 months
  • Minimum fine of $600, with a maximum of $1,000
  • Probation for 12 months
  • 30 days community service
  • DUI school
  • Clinical drug, and alcohol evaluation
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 12 months without a limited work permit

A third DUI drug misdemeanor conviction within 5 years:

  • Mandatory 15-day jail sentence
  • Minimum fine of $1,000, with a maximum of $5,000
  • 30 days community service
  • DUI school
  • 30 days community service
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 5 years

Unlike a straight DUI prosecution, in a DUI drug case there is no specific level of drug use that substantiates a charge of driving under the influence. Blood, and urine tests, given voluntarily or under compulsion of a warrant, only reveal the presence of drugs, not whether they are currently psychoactive.

Because a successful prosecution is based on the police officer’s subjective evaluation of the driver’s behaviors, and these imprecise tests, there are opportunities for an experienced Greene County DUI Lawyer to interject reasonable doubt into the prosecutor’s story. Because the consequences of a conviction are drastic—loss of driver’s license, fines, and possible jail time—you should consult with an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to secure your rights, and defenses.

When screening to retain a Greene County DUI Lawyer, you should ask a series of questions that will reveal the experience, and reputation of the lawyer:

  • How long have you been a DUI defense lawyer?
  • How many DUI drug defense cases have you handled? How many annually?
  • What is considered a “win”?
  • How will you evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s cases?
  • How important is it that you know the police officer, prosecutor, and judge?
  • What are the likely attorney’s fees, and costs? When are these due?
  • Will my case go to trial, or will you negotiate a plea bargain?
  • What are the likely costs of going to trial?
  • Who handles my case, you or an associate?