DWI/DUI - Drunk Driving Laws And Attorneys In Georgia
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Georgia DUI and Drivers License Suspension Laws
Below is a summary of the major legislative provisions concerning a
DUI for adult and teenage drivers.
1. Nolo Contendere Plea will be treated as a conviction for any DUI.
Previously, some DUI violators could save their driver’s license by
pleading Nolo Contendere (no contest). Now Nolo Contendere pleas
are considered as convictions for all DUI arrests.
2. Zero tolerance for alcohol usage by drivers under the age of 21 years.
A driver under 21 years old is guilty of DUI if his alcohol concentration is
0.02 grams or more.
3. Lower alcohol level to commit a per se DUI. The alcohol concentration
level at which a person age 21 or older commits a per se DUI offense
has now been lowered from 0.10 to 0.08 grams of alcohol. A per se DUI
is one where no evidence of impaired driving is needed, only the
evidence of the driver’s alcohol concentration.
4. Mandatory jail time for all DUI violators.All DUI violators, upon
conviction, spend time in jail. An offender who has not had a conviction
arising from a DUI arrest during the previous five (5) years shall spend a
minimum of twenty- four (24) hours in jail. Repeat DUI offenders face a
mandatory 3 days in jail for the second conviction, and 15 days for the
5. Substance abuse treatment program for second time DUI violators.A
driver, who has a second DUI conviction within a five (5) year period,
must undergo a clinical evaluation for alcohol or substance abuse and if
a problem is indicated, he must complete an alcohol or substance
abuse program before he can apply for reinstatement of his license, and
must use an ignition interlock device.
6. License Tag seizure for violators and mandatory driver's license
suspension. In addition to any other penalty, any driver who receives a
conviction for a second or subsequent DUI in a five year period faces a
mandatory surrender of all license plates registered to the driver. Also
the driver will receive a "hard" (no limited permit available) suspension
of his driver's license for one year. Upon the third DUI conviction within 5
years, the driver will be declared a habitual violator, and receive a five
year revocation of his license, with the first two years being a "hard"
7. Open containers of alcohol prohibited.Open containers of alcohol are
now prohibited in the passenger area of a motor vehicle to include a
driver and/or passenger. 8. Road rage now has a name.Operating a
vehicle with intent to harass or intimidate another driver is a
misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and is called Aggressive
9. Special suspension provisions for drivers under 21 years of age.The
driver's license of any person under twenty-one (21) years of age shall
be suspended if he or she is convicted of any of the following:
hit and run, aggressive driving, racing, D.U.I.using a motor vehicle in
fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, reckless driving, underage
purchasing or knowingly possessing any alcoholic beverage while
operating a motor vehicle, misrepresenting his age in any manner
whatever for the purpose of obtaining any alcoholic beverage,
misrepresenting his identity or using any false identification for the
purpose of purchasing or obtaining any alcoholic beverage, or any
offense for which four or more points are assessable under O.C.G.A. §
40-5- 57 (e.g. passing of a school bus, improper passing, or speeding
in excess of the speed limit by 24 m.p.h. or more).
11. Except for a driver under 21 years old, convicted of DUI with an
alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or more, upon a first conviction, the
violator's license shall be suspended for six months from the date of
conviction. Violators under 21 years old convicted of DUI with an alcohol
concentration of 0.08 grams or more, or violators under 21 years old
with their second or subsequent suspension or conviction, shall have
their license suspended for a minimum of twelve months. If the
suspension was for DUI, then the driver must complete DUI school
before applying for license reinstatement, otherwise the driver must
complete a defensive driving program.
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