Georgia, like every other state in the USA, considers driving with 0,08% BAC level or above to be a DUI offense for an adult and takes each case very seriously even if it’s the first offense. This limit is 0.04% for commercial drivers and 0.02% for underage.
If you’re have been charged with a first-time DUI offense in Georgia, here are a few things you should know:
- BAC is not the only Factor
In Georgia, BAC level is not the only factor that can get you in a DUI case. The state of Georgia strictly prohibits consumption of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle regardless of whether you are the driver or a passenger unless it’s a commercial vehicle with a separation between the driver’s seat and passengers area. In any other case, an open container of an alcoholic beverage with contents absent partially or entirely makes you susceptible to a DUI case.
- Jail-Time Is A Possibility
Although it is legally considered a misdemeanor, even a first time DUI offense can land you in jail in Georgia. You may be looking towards a sentence of 24- hours of jail time or some time in county jail instead of the prison. However, the court can use its discretion and not award you with such punishment depending on the case that you have and considering the time you already spent in jail while being arrested. Aggravating factors can lead to a mandatory jail time as well.
- License Suspension Penalty
If you are convicted, your license can be suspended by DDS for up to 12 months. However, you can get early reinstatement You may also be provided limited driving rights with an ignition interlock in your vehicle. However, if you were charged with a Drugs-related DUI, you are not eligible for either of the two.
- Be Ready To Pay Exorbitant Fines
A first-time DUI offense brings with it a heavy amount of fines. Other than the court proceedings cost and travel expenses, you may be awarded a fine of $300 which can go up to $1000 in case of aggravating factors. That, added to the cost of counseling or program the court asks you to attend, your lawyer’s fee and other costs can make for a huge financial liability. Moreover, a DUI case leads to insurance companies hiking up the premiums for you.
- Deadline To Challenge License Revocation
In a first-time DUI, you can get your license reinstatement before completing the entire suspension period. After 120 days, if you have complete the court ordered program and other penalties, you can apply for reinstatement of your license. You can wait out the entire period as well. In either case, a fee of $210 and proof of completing all your penalties can get you your license back. However, you have only 30 days to challenge the state’s license revocation.
- Additional Penalties
Additional penalties include community service for at least 40 hours, Alcohol or drug risk-reduction program and clinical evaluation. Certificate of attendance from each is necessary to get your driving rights back.
If you or a loved one has gotten into a DUI case, contact a DUI lawyer in Georgia, well-versed with the state DUI laws immediately. Get a free review of your DUI case to get a better hold of your situation and the prospects. An expert legal representative can help you minimize the damage and get the best out of your case.