Atlanta and the entire state of Georgia have strict drinking and driving laws. If you are arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI in the state, you will likely face jail time, significant fines, and the loss of your license, among other penalties.
If you happen to cause a car accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may face civil penalties for any damages you cause.
When you are arrested for DUI, you may wonder what options you have. It can be a scary and overwhelming situation. At this point, hiring an Atlanta DUI attorney is in your best interest. It’s also helpful to learn more about DUI laws in Georgia to know what to expect.
Georgia DUI Laws and Consequences
In Georgia (like many other states), you are considered over the legal limit if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than 0.08%. However, Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy if you are under 21 years old. This means if your BAC is 0.02% or higher, you are considered under the influence and will likely face DUI charges if pulled over and arrested.
For commercial drivers, the legal limit is 0.04%. If you are convicted of DUI in Atlanta while operating a commercial vehicle, your CDL (commercial driver’s license) will be suspended for a minimum of one year. For truck drivers, the legal limit is lower because of the dangers and risks involved with commercial truck accidents.
A DUI conviction can result in fines of up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail. This depends on if you have had any prior DUI convictions in the past decade.
Besides the penalties mentioned above, being convicted of DUI may also result in the following consequences:
- Mandatory community service
- The requirement to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle
- DUI school
- License reinstatement fee
- Alcohol addiction evaluation
- Pay a fee to have your personal information (name, address, and photo) published in the local paper
- The requirement to surrender your vehicle’s license plate
Usually, DUI charges in Atlanta are misdemeanors. However, once you get a third DUI, it will increase the charge to an aggravated misdemeanor. Also, once you are convicted of a third DUI, you may be classified under the Habitual Violator Status.
If you receive a fourth DUI charge, it will be a felony. The penalties for a fourth (or subsequent) DUI may result in a prison sentence of up to five years.
DUI convictions may have other consequences, too. For example, you may experience higher car insurance rates. This is because, after a DUI conviction, the insurance providers view you as a higher risk. In some situations, you will even have to purchase SR-22 insurance, which is much more expensive than other types. For some, losing your license may also result in you losing your job.
The cause of your accident while you were driving while intoxicated may result in you facing other criminal charges. If this happens, you will also face other consequences if you are convicted.
Don’t Wait to Hire an Atlanta DUI Attorney
If you are charged with a DUI, you should immediately contact an Atlanta DUI attorney. Doing this will give you the best possible defense for your situation. Remember, the consequences of these charges are severe and can impact you now and in the future. Having an attorney represent your case will ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome. There are some situations where your attorney may even be able to have the charges against you dismissed.