Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only dangerous, it is also illegal. The criminal penalties of a DUI in Georgia can be severe.
A driving under the influence conviction will stay on your driving record for the rest of your life. In fact, even one DUI can also have additional consequences beyond the legal penalties, such as creating an inability to be eligible for specific jobs or positions. Your insurance premiums are also likely to increase significantly.
Below is a brief outline of the penalties of a DUI conviction. Penalties vary depending on the age of the driver and whether the driver has been convicted of a DUI previously.
Georgia has a zero-tolerance rule that applies to drivers who are under the influence and under the legal drinking age of 21.
Drivers Under Age 15
Any driver who is under the age of 15 and is convicted of a DUI will have his or her license suspended until age 17. There is also a $210 fee. In addition, the teen must attend a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and pay all costs associated with that program.
For a second offense, the suspension is increased to 18 years of age, and there is a $310 fee as well. The fee increases to $410 for a third offense.
Drivers Between the Ages of 16 and 20
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 will have their license suspected for six months if their BAC is under 0.08. If their BAC is 0.08 or higher, then the suspension increases to 12 months. There is also a $210 fee, and the driver must attend a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and pay all associated costs with that program.
Second offenses have an increased fine of $310. In addition to the Risk Reduction Program, those drivers must also go through a clinical evaluation and possibly attend treatment. They must also have an interlock device installed, if the court permits driving after the mandatory suspension. License suspension may be increased to a total of 18 months.
For third offenses, the driver’s license will be suspended for up to five years. The driver must also pay a $410 fee, attend Risk Reduction Programs, go through an evaluation and treatment, and use an ignition interlock device. He or she can only obtain a habitual violator probationary license with permission from the Court. This often occurs after two years of license suspension.
Drivers Over the Age of 21
For those over the age of 21, the penalties are much more severe. For the first offense, the penalties generally include:
- License suspension for up to one year
- A fine ranging between $300 and $1,000
- Attending a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program (and paying all costs associated with the program)
- Potential jail time of up to one year
- Mandatory community service hours (40 hours)First-time offenders may be able to obtain a limited driving permit, depending on their BAC levels and whether their license has already been administratively suspended.
Additional DUIs carry more fines, potential jail time, required interlock devices, and other restrictions. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, getting legal help is a good idea. You can fight back against your charge! Contact our team for more information.