Driving while under the influence (DUI) anywhere in Georgia is a serious offense which can affect you for the rest of your life. If you have been arrested for DUI, You should contact an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer who will be able to help you fight your charge.
DUI is a Criminal Offense
DUI in Georgia, like most other states in the country, is a criminal offense. If you are convicted for DUI it will stay on your record for a very long time and will be shared with any other state if you have an out of state license or move interstate. DUI penalties include fines, license suspensions, probation, a jail sentence and attendance at DUI school and / or community service.
DUI Penalties Depend on Your Individual Circumstances
If you are sentenced for a DUI charge in Atlanta, your exact penalties will depend on a number of different variables, as follows.
- How many times you have been convicted for DUI before or whether it is a first offense.
- How much alcohol was alleged to be in your blood at the time you were driving
- Whether you injured anyone seriously while driving under the influence.
The penalties get harsher if is not your first conviction, if you have had more than 0.08% blood alcohol content and if you have injured or even killed somebody when driving.
How DUI is Determined in Georgia
Normally, a police officer will pull you over on a highway in Georgia if he or she suspects that you have been doing something illegally. This could be something quite minor, like a traffic infringement, or a broken light. It could be for speeding or the officer may have thought that your driving was erratic. If you are suspected of being DUI, you may be asked to complete a number of sobriety tests, such as reciting the alphabet, standing on one leg, and following a pen or finger tip with your eyes. You could refuse to do these, but will probably then be arrested for DUI. You may also be asked to blow into a portable breathalyzer, which is a simple test for the presence or absence of alcohol.
After being arrested, you will be taken to a police station and will be asked to complete a chemical test for alcohol. This could be a blood test, a breath test or urine test. If the test result shows that you are over 0.08% BAC / blood alcohol concentration (0.02% if you are less than 21 or 0.04% if you are a commercial driver) then you will be charged with DUI. Even if your BAC test shows less than the legal limit you could still be charged with what is called “less safe” under Georgia law. Evidence for impairment will be then made from the sobriety tests, your general behavior and the way you were driving before you were stopped.
Why an Atlanta DUI Lawyer is Essential
The consequences of a DUI conviction in Georgia are serious. It is not just the penalties decided by the court, but the long term effects of not being able to drive to your job, and raised insurance premiums. You need to fight your DUI charge with the help of an experienced and dedicated Atlanta DUI lawyer. Your lawyer understands the DUI arrest process thoroughly and will examine the way in which you were stopped, arrested and tested for alcohol. It is quite possible that there were weaknesses in the procedure, which can be used to help defend your innocence or at least get your charge reduced to something less serious.