PRACTICE FOCUS AREA
Traffic & DUI
DUI in Georgia
What is a DUI in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia there are two ways a driver can violate the driving under the influence (DUI) law:
- DUI Less Safe (GA Zero Tolerance) – An officer observes the driver commit a “less-safe act”, and makes an educated determination that this was the result of some level of intoxication.
- DUI per se – A driver is administered a chemical test (blood or breath) and their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher.
In the case of “under the influence” you do not have to have a BAC of 0.08 or higher to be determined guilty.
Is a DUI a Felony in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, driving under the influence can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the arrest and the driver’s history. A conviction, felony or otherwise, will result in a permanent criminal record.
Penalties For a DUI in Georgia
There are two seperate penalties to deal with when convicted of a DUI: the criminal case and an administrative proceeding against your license. ALWAYS contact an attorney immediately upon release on a DUI arrest, as there are deadlines imposed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services which can lead to a 12 month license suspension, regardless of whether the charge for DUI has been resolved. For first-time offenders, penalties for DUI are the following:
- Up to 12 months in confinement, with a mandatory minimum 24 hours to serve
- Fines up to $1,000 plus court charges
- No less than 40 hours community service
- Substance abuse counseling
- Attendance of DUI Risk Reduction School
- Drivers license suspension (limited privileges on first offense)
For felony DUI convictions/repeat offenses, severity of penalties go up substantially.
In Georgia, being convicted of DUI is expensive and can result in life-changing consequences beyond the courtroom. If you are arrested for a DUI, contact the The Usry Firm immediately for a free consultation.
Do I Need A Lawyer For A Traffic Violation?
Minor traffic violations like parking tickets usually involve a small fine and do not require the use of an attorney or a court appearance. However with more serious violations that include court appearances, it can be wise to consult with a lawyer. These violations include:
- Speeding tickets
- Driving uninsured
- Driving with a revoked or suspended license
- Driving with an expired license
- Hit and run accidents
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Lane change violations
- Habitual traffic offenses
- Arrest warrants for unpaid traffic violations
Different traffic violations have different penalties and therefore vary in severity. Some traffic offenses, like Driving with License Suspended or Revoked, Driving with No Insurance/Registration and DUI are considered far more serious than others and can compound leading to felony treatment. These serious offenses along with others can lead to even more serious felony charges in the event of injury or loss of life. Even speeding tickets can result in points on a person’s license and possible license suspension if the driver is a habitual offender.
If you need to make a court appearance for a traffic violation, call The Usry Firm today for a free consultation.