Georgia law enforcement officers can arrest motorists who have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above. The state prohibits driving under the influence to help prevent serious auto accidents associated with DUI.
Drivers who face a DUI court date in Georgia should familiarize themselves with the potential legal consequences of a conviction.
First-time DUI conviction
When the person has no previous DUI offenses, he or she will receive a mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service if convicted. Additional penalties depending on the circumstances of the arrest include a one-year license suspension with a $210 fee for reinstatement, fines of $300 to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.
Second-time DUI conviction
Georgia has a five-year lookback period, which means the court considers a person a repeat offender if he or she has DUI convictions within the past five years. Those in this category are subject to mandatory substance abuse evaluation along with treatment if needed at their own cost. A second DUI also carries a three-year license suspension with a $210 reinstatement fee, at least 48 hours and up to a year in jail, fines of $600 to $1,000 and a minimum of 30 days of community service.
Third-time DUI conviction
For a third DUI in the same five-year period, a convicted offender will receive the same evaluation, treatment and community service penalties as with a second offense. He or she will also receive fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, a five-year license suspension with a $210 reinstatement fee, at least 15 days and up to one year in jail and license plate seizure. The court will also consider the person a habitual offender and include his or her name, photo and criminal charges in the local newspaper.
Drivers younger than 21 can receive DUI charges with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. For drivers who have commercial licenses, the legal BAC threshold is 0.04%.