When driving in the state of Georgia, people are expected to know and follow all of the local traffic laws, whether or not they are residents. Everyone who plans to be driving on Georgia roads should know the boundaries and penalties outlined in the law. That means knowing the DUI laws and understanding the penalties that can come with either a charge or a conviction so drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence do not wind up with excessive penalties.
Georgia has a couple of automatic penalties that can come into play at different stages of the process when one is facing a DUI. For starters, like many states, there is an informed consent law. Officers have the absolute right to request alcohol testing, and drivers who refuse to be tested face automatic license suspensions. The state also has an automatic license suspension that can go into effect within 10 days of a DUI charge if one does not contact an attorney to stop the process.
First offense DUI penalties
If convicted, those charged with driving under the influence face the following penalties:
- Fines between $300 and $1,000
- Imprisonment for between 10 days and 12 months
- A minimum of 40 hours of community service
- Completion of a DUI risk reduction program
- Probation time, dependent on the term of imprisonment
Judges in the state have a lot of discretion when it comes to the application of these DUI laws, so it is important to talk to a lawyer right away if a driver has been charged.
Subsequent DUI offenses
Georgia takes after many other states in the way it aggressively raises the costs, license suspension requirements, and length of imprisonment when one is convicted of multiple DUI offenses. These tough penalties make defending oneself from charges very important, because the results of a suspended license or prolonged term of imprisonment can be very destructive to the finances and employment status of those affected.
Understanding the options
There are a variety of ways for drivers to defend themselves if they are charged with a DUI, and if a person accidentally drives with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit of 0.08 percent, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate the penalties. Either way, it is important that everyone facing DUI charges accesses the legal help necessary to mount a defense that protects them from some of the more extreme penalties that can be triggered by this state's DUI laws .