DUI Defense Lawyers

DUI is a very serious offense in the state of Georgia. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you need to speak to an attorney immediately to preserve your legal rights. Georgia laws are written to make it easier to convict you. Many people believe that an arrest for drunk driving is a conviction. That is not the case. You are presumed innocent. A good defense attorney will evaluate your arrest and determine your defenses. The state must prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you. We are your first line of criminal defense.

Suspension of Your Driver’s License – The 10 Day Rule

Everyone arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia faces a driver’s license suspension. If you tested over the legal limit for drugs or alcohol or refused to provide the arresting officer a test of your blood, breath or urine, you should have received a yellow Georgia Department of Driver’s Services Form 1205 and the arresting officer should have taken your driver’s license. If you received Form 1205, or should have, you have ten (10) business days from your arrest to request a hearing or your license will automatically be suspended at midnight on the 30th day following your arrest. If you do not timely request a hearing, you have no right to challenge the suspension. We will file your hearing request and represent you at the Administrative License Suspension Hearing. But, you must act quickly to avoid losing your right to a hearing.

Types of DUI charges

There are two types of driving under the influence charges in Georgia which include both driving with alcohol or drugs in your body. Georgia Code Section 40-6-391 defines DUI in Georgia.

“Less safe” DUI charges are often filed when the state does not have or cannot use a test of your blood, breath or urine. The prosecutor must prove you were driving with alcohol or drugs in your body which made you less safe to drive.

“Per se” DUI charges are often filed when the state has a test of your blood, breath or urine and you have tested over the legal limit. The prosecution only has to prove that you were driving and had an illegal amount of alcohol or a drug in your body. The legal limits for blood alcohol content or BAC are different for different people.

What is the legal Blood Alcohol Limit in Georgia?

  • Persons over 21 years of age: 0.08%
  • Persons under 21 years of age: 0.02%
  • Commercial Truck Drivers: 0.04%

Consequences of a DUI conviction

Georgia looks at your prior history when sentencing you on a drunk driving or driving under the influence conviction and counts all prior offenses you have had within the prior ten (10) years. In addition to sentencing, Georgia also suspends the driver’s license of anyone convicted of DUI. However, rather than looking at your past ten (10) year’s convictions, for license suspension, the state looks at your prior five (5) year’s convictions. Possible consequences for DUI include:

  • First DUI Offense
    Fines ranging from $300.00 to $1,000.00
    • Jail time ranging from 10 days to 12 months           
    • Not fewer than 40 hours community service           
    • Completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program           
    • Clinical Evaluation for substance abuse and substance abuse treatment program           
    • Probation for one year           
    • Driver’s license suspension for one year with reinstatement fees           
    • Other possible sanctions such as Victim Impact Panel
  • Second DUI Offense
    Fines ranging from $600.00 to $1,000.00
    • Jail time ranging from 90 days to 12 months           
    • Not fewer than 30 days community service           
    • Completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program           
    • Clinical Evaluation for substance abuse and substance abuse treatment program           
    • Publication of your photo in the newspaper with a Notice of Conviction
    • Probation for one year
    • Driver’s license suspension for three years with reinstatement fees
    • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device
    • Other possible sanctions such as Victim Impact Panel
  • Third DUI Offense
    Fines ranging from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00
    • Jail time ranging from 120 days to 12 months           
    • Not fewer than 30 days community service           
    • Completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program           
    • Clinical Evaluation for substance abuse and substance abuse treatment program           
    • Probation for 1 years
    • Driver’s license revocation for 5 years
    • Installation of Ignition Interlock Device
    • Other possible sanctions such as Victim Impact Panel
  • Can you just plea nolo or ask for first offender status?
    A plea of nolo contendere to drunken driving charges:
    • Offers little benefit unless a civil lawsuit has been or might be filed against the defendant;
    •  Is treated as a guilty plea for sentencing purposes;
    • Is available only under limited circumstances; and
    • When available, must be approved by the sentencing judge.
    • First Offender Status is not available to anyone convicted of driving under the influence.