In Georgia, there are two different ways you can be charged for DUI. The traditional form of DUI arrests in Georgia does not require a blood or breath test. If you are driving in an unsafe manner as a result of consuming alcohol, you can be arrested for a Georgia DUI. Georgia also has a per se law relating to DUI arrests. If you submit to a chemical sobriety test and the results indicate that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher, you will be arrested for DUI, regardless of how you are driving.
DUI Arrests in Georgia
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI in the state of Georgia, you will be asked to submit to a BAC test. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for one year. Your arrest will spark two cases, one in the Georgia Department of Public Safety and one in the court system. You must request the Department of Public Safety hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not make this request or make it improperly, your license will be suspended for up to five years, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. However, by requesting the hearing, you can fight for your right to keep your license or get a probationary license. It is important to hire a lawyer to help you the minute you are arrested to ensure that you do not overlook any aspect of the paperwork.
Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If you are arrested for your first Georgia DUI offense, or your first offense within five years, you can expect to face the following consequences:
The jail time can be reduced to 24 hours under some circumstances. If you are arrested for your second or third offense within five years, these consequences will be much more strict.
License Suspensions for Georgia DUI
In addition to the monetary consequences, being arrested for a Georgia DUI will result in a license suspension. The license suspension times are as follows:
If you complete DUI school, you can get a probationary license that will allow you some driving freedom before finishing the suspension period. However, you must complete the assessment and counseling successfully, and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device on your car when you get probationary license. For second and third convictions you will also have to surrender your license plates for all of the vehicles you own until you have your license back.
Besides having your license taken away and facing steep fines, you will also find that it is difficult to get car insurance after a Georgia DUI arrest. In fact, your current insurance company may drop your coverage altogether. If you are allowed to keep your insurance policy, your rates will go up. If you are dropped, you will find that other insurance providers are hesitant to take you on as a new customer.