If an officer suspects you of drunk driving in Georgia, they will pull you over. However, even for first DUI offenses, a DUI can get costly from court fines and legal fees. It helps to know what to expect from a DUI and how to avoid them.
Cost of a DUI in Georgia
For a first DUI offense, you commonly must pay a $300 to $1,000 fine and a $200 license reinstatement fee after the suspension period. First offenders are required to undergo an alcohol risk reduction program that typically costs $350. If you get probation instead of jail, you commonly must pay $40 monthly to the supervisor who monitors you.
If you don’t fight the charges and plead guilty, it may run $1,500 in fees, but fighting the charges can cost 10 times that. Other associated costs may also include towing, an ignition interlock device, surcharges, bail bonds and additional penalties for enhanced charges. The penalties increase for each offense. You could get Habitual Violator status for a third DUI and have to surrender your license plates.
How to avoid a DUI
Georgia has a BAC limit of 0.08 for standard drivers, which means 0.08 milligrams of alcohol in the body per 100 milliliters of blood. However, not everyone metabolizes alcohol at the same rate, so pace yourself and watch when it starts to affect you.
Even if you register below 0.08, you can still get a DUI if your driving is impaired, so find a designated driver and give them your keys. If you can’t find a designated driver, schedule a ride-sharing service or call a taxi or sober ride service.
Just because you get charged doesn’t mean you are guilty. Officers sometimes make mistakes during arrests, which you can challenge in court.