What is a DUI Drugs Charge in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

When most people think about DUI in Georgia, they think of alcohol. Most people are unaware that you can actually get a charge of DUI Drugs in Georgia if driving unsafely under the influence of drugs - either prescription or illegal.

What is DUI Drugs in Georgia?

Georgia law defines DUI Drugs as:

A person shall not drive while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; a person shall not drive under the influence of a combination of substances (i.e. drugs and alcohol) to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; a person cannot be under the influence of prescription drugs, even if a drug or drugs are prescribed legally.O.C.G.A. §40-6-391

What is the evidence of DUI Drugs in Georgia?

Unlike alcohol consumption, there is no quantitative legal limit for drug consumption, officers' observations are usually the determining factors. All officers are trained to look for clues including the accused person's:

  • Driving, 
  • Mannerisms, 
  • Performance of standardized field sobriety tests, 
  • And conversational skills. 

What is the penalty for conviction of DUI Drugs in Georgia?

To be convicted of DUI Drugs, the state of Georgia must prove whether or not an individual is driving under the influence of a drug to the extent that he or she is a less safe driver. Georgia DUI Penalties are harsh and life-altering. 

A first conviction for DUI-Drugs in 10 years will result in the following:

  • Minimum of 24 hours in jail
  • Fine of at least $300
  • 12 months on probation
  • 40 hours of community service
  • DUI School in Georgia
  • Clinical drug and alcohol evaluation 

These are the minimums allowed by law. In fact, many jurisdictions punish much more harshly.  

If convicted of Georgia DUI Drugs, a person also faces a suspension of driving privileges, potentially lasting up to one year (although, depending on the circumstances of your arrest, limited permits may be available).  Actually, a six-month driver's license suspension is common in convictions for DUI Drugs.

A second conviction for DUI-Drugs in 10 years will result in the following:

  • Minimum of 72 hours in jail
  • Fine of at least $600
  • 12 months on probation
  • 30 days of community service
  • DUI school
  • Clinical drug and alcohol evaluation  

The penalties get even harsher with a second DUI Drugs conviction because there will most likely be a period of “hard suspension” of the driving license. This means there are no limited work permits are available.

Practice Note:

One strategy Georgia DUI Attorneys employ in DUI Drug case is to negotiate with the prosecutor to charge the case as a DUI Alcohol case (however confusing that may sound). By "agreeing" that the case involved alcohol, as a legal fiction, our clients will then quality for a permit to drive on a first Georgia DUI offense. 

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia, contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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