Is DUI a misdemeanor in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Most DUI cases in Georgia are misdemeanors.  There are a few exceptions to the general rule. 

The first DUI, second DUI, and third DUI arrest in Georgia are all misdemeanors unless someone is seriously injured or there is a fatality.  

Felony DUI in Georgia:

A fourth DUI since 2008 is a felony offense in Georgia.  Since DUI does not ever come off a person's record, the rule will be a fourth lifetime DUI will be prosecuted as a felony offense

An individual who has had a third DUI in a five-year period will be declared a habitual violator.  Their license will be suspended for five years.  If they are caught driving before having their privilege to drive restored, they will be charged with the felony offense of driving while being declared a habitual violator.  The punishment can be up to 5 years in prison.

Serious Injury DUI in Georgia:

A person who causes someone a serious injury while being under the influence, or by driving recklessly, will be charged with a felony.  The punishment can include incarceration for up to 15 years.  Being under the influence or driving with a reckless disregard for the safety of others is insufficient to prove a person guilty.  The state must also prove that the driver was the proximate cause of the injury.

Vehicular Homicide in Georgia:

A person who causes the death of another while being under the influence (or through reckless driving) will be charged with a felony DUI in Georgia.  The maximum punishment is 15 years in prison.  Like the above-mentioned serious injury by vehicle discussion, being under the influence is only one element of the offense. The driver's actions must be the proximate cause of the death of another person. 

Final Thoughts:

Even though most DUI cases in Georgia are misdemeanors, judges still punish people severely.  For individuals with prior offenses, defendant's often lose their driver's license and their freedom.  It takes an expert defense to help people, and we are here when you need us.  

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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