Being allowed to drive a vehicle is a privilege and not a right. Motorists are granted licenses to drive based upon the skills they have demonstrated as well as the rules drivers have agreed to follow while on the road. However, not everybody is perfect, and mistakes do happen which can result in a motorist breaking some of these rules. Unfortunately, this may result in losing the privilege to drive a vehicle. One of the most serious offenses a motorist can commit in Georgia is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Knowing the limit
It is a good idea to know the actual limitations set by DUI laws in Georgia. State laws prohibit drivers from not only driving a vehicle but also being in physical control of a car while having a blood alcohol content that is over the legal limit. Georgia law limits blood alcohol content (BAC) of drivers to .08% or lower. For those operating a commercial vehicle the limit is even more strict, .04% BAC. Also, for those under the age of 21 years, the limit is .02% BAC.
Not just alcohol
Although most people may think of DUI laws as pertaining to only those who drink alcohol, the law is actually more inclusive. A person can be charged with a DUI for being under the influence of any type of drug or controlled substance. The drug does not even have to be illicit. Many people have been convicted of DUI due to use of legal prescription drugs which impair their ability to drive. In fact, in Georgia, any amount of marijuana or illicit drugs in a driver’s urine or blood can result in a DUI charge.
Penalties for DUI in Georgia
Penalties for a DUI conviction can be quite serious. The specific penalties for a conviction will be determined by a judge based upon statutory guidelines set forth in Georgia law. These legal guidelines are based upon how many prior DUI convictions a defendant has had in the past ten years.
For a first-time offender, penalties can be as much as 10 days to 12 months in jail with fines ranging from $300 to $1000. If this is a person’s second DUI offense, it can result in jail time ranging from 90 days to 12 months with $600 to $1000 in fines. For a third DUI offense, one can face fines from as much as $1000 to $5000. He or she can also face jail sentences ranging from 120 days to 12 months. Additionally, those convicted of DUIs will be required to perform community service ranging from a minimum of 20 hours to 30 days. There are many dui attorney services Carrollton GA online that can help to minimize penalties.
Legal defense for DUI charges in Georgia
Given the potential serious consequences of a DUI conviction it is a good idea to pursue the strongest legal defense possible in court. There are various legal defense strategies which could be available depending upon the specific circumstances. Many times, a defendant can challenge illegally obtained evidence, such as seizing a blood test without a warrant. A defendant can also challenge the accuracy of a BAC test. However, due to the complex nuances of DUI laws it may be a good idea to consult a competent attorney in order to provide the best defense possible in court.