What Is Considered DUI Under Georgia State Law?
There are five types of DUI charges defined in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) under section 40-6-391. One is referred to as an alcohol less safe DUI, which means that someone has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be less safe as a result of having consumed alcohol before or while driving, regardless of their blood alcohol level or concentration. The second kind is referred to as a drug less safe DUI, which means that someone has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be less safe as a result of having consumed a legal or illegal drug prior to or while driving. The third type of DUI is based on the use of inhalants, and the fourth type of DUI is based on the use of a combination of alcohol and drugs which renders a person less safe to drive. The fifth type of DUI is what people traditionally think of as a DUI also known as a per se DUI, which is when a person has been determined to be over the legal limit for alcohol within three hours of driving as a result of a blood, breath or urine test.
What Would Constitute A Felony Or Aggravated DUI In Georgia?
If someone receives four DUI convictions within a 10 year period calculated from date of arrest to date of arrest, then the fourth DUI will be considered a felony and carry a penalty of one to five years in state prison and a minimum fine of $1000.00. First, second, or third-time DUIs within ten years are misdemeanors meaning that there is a maximum of 1 year in jail possible and a $1000 fine or a maximum find of $5000 for misdemeanors of a high and aggravating nature which is defined as third DUI in life. A second-time DUI is a high and aggravated misdemeanor, which means that there may be limitations on good time jail credit. A first-time DUI carries a mandatory sentence of 10 days in jail, but all but 24 hours of such sentences can be waived by a judge. A second-time DUI carries a mandatory 72 hours in jail, and a third-time DUI carries a mandatory 15 days in jail.
Am I Required To Take A Roadside Or Field Sobriety Test At A DUI Stop In Georgia?
An individual has a constitutional right to refuse state administered or state compelled self-incriminating acts, which includes breath tests and field sobriety tests if they are under arrest. While there can be adverse consequences associated with refusal of a breath test, such as license suspension, the refusal cannot be used against someone as evidence in court. The field tests are completely voluntary, and technically speaking, there’s no permissible inference that can be drawn from a refusal by itself. In other words, a jury may hear that an individual refused the field tests, but they would be instructed by the judge not to draw any negative inferences based on that knowledge standing alone.
Can I Consult An Attorney Prior To Making A Decision On The Chemical Test In Georgia?
An individual does not currently have a right to consult an attorney prior to consenting to a state administered chemical test in Georgia. This is an issue that has been litigated in recent years since the Elliot v. State of Georgia case, which determined that a person has a right to refuse a chemical test without having that refusal used against them in any manner.
How Long Will A DUI Conviction Stay On My Driving Record In Georgia?
A DUI arrest or conviction will stay on your official criminal record forever for law enforcement purposes. Business inquiries will should convictions only but also forever on an official criminal background check. Law enforcement agents will always be able to see whether or not an individual has been arrest for DUI or received a DUI conviction, and these records can be discoverable through third-party data providers or data miners such as LexisNexis. For insurance purposes, a DUI conviction will remain on a driving record for three years. For other purposes, it will depend on the manner and method by which the driver’s record is requested and reviewed from the Georgia Department of Driver Services, but won’t remain on a record for more than seven years. A more recent phenomenon are the online publishing of judicial records for individual courts. Although there is no centralized data source in Georgia for court records, many local courts have websites with the technology to all online searches of the individual court dockets which can reveal charging information and dispositions of DUI cases that might not otherwise be available through traditional sources of information.
For more information on DUI Charges Under Georgia State Law, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (770) 961-5511.
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