1st DUI Penalties in Georgia
In Georgia, a DUI conviction, even a first offense, carries harsh penalties and consequences.It is important to get the best possible legal representation in order to avoid these potential consequences. Richard Lawson is a former DUI Prosecutor with more than 20 years experience defending people charged with DUI in Georgia. Being arrested for DUI in Georgia does not mean you are automatically guilty. It is important to seek immediate legal help.
The maximum penalty for a first DUI conviction in Georgia is 12 months incarceration and a $1,000.00 fine plus court surcharges. The minimum penalty is 24 hours in jail, which may still be waived as credit for time served after arrest, and a $300.00 fine. Other mandatory requirements are 40 hours community service, a DUI Risk Reduction course (commonly known as “DUI School”), and 12 months probation, which may be supervised or potentially non-reporting and may allow for random drug and alcohol screening.
The Department of Driver Services will also suspend your driver's license or privileges for a period of one year if you are convicted of DUI as a first offense. If DUI Risk Reduction course has been completed, however, you will be eligible for full reinstatement of your driver's license or privileges to drive within the State after 120 days. If you are 21 or older, you will be eligible for a limited use driving permit during the license suspension period that will allow you to drive to work, school, substance abuse counseling, DUI school, and to seek medical care and treatment, and to pick up prescription medications. If you are under the age of 21, however, you are not eligible for a limited-use driving permit.
If you submitted to the State breath test and the results indicated a BAC of 0.08 grams percent or higher or if you refused to submit to testing, you may also face an administrative license suspension. This suspension is initiated by paperwork the arresting officer submits after your arrest directly to the Department of Driver Services. You have 30 business days from the date of your arrest to appeal the administrative suspension.
If not timely appealed, the suspension will go into effect 30 days after your arrest. The suspension period for having a BAC at or above 0.08 grams percent is one year with the ability to get a limited use driving permit and eligibility for early reinstatement after 30 days if you complete a DUI Risk Reduction course.
The suspension period for refusing to submit to testing is one year and you will be ineligible for a limited-use driving permit. If you are later convicted of the underlying DUI charge in the criminal proceeding, the refusal suspension will remain in effect until the end of the one-year period and you will remain ineligible for a limited use, driving permit.
If you are arrested for DUI in Atlanta, or Metro Atlanta, or North Georgia, call my office 24 hours a day 7, days a week. We are here to help you with your case.