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What is the penalty for a first-time DUI in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2020 | Criminal Law

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Georgia due to the potentially dangerous repercussions. A night at the bar could turn into a night to remember—and not in a good way—if suddenly the flashing lights of a cop car appear in your rearview mirror on the drive home. If an officer arrests you under suspicion of drunk driving, it’s important to seek legal representation and mount a defense, as the penalties can be severe.

Potential penalties for a first-time DUI offense

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fine of $300 minimum and $1,000 maximum
  • Up to one year of license suspension
  • Mandatory community service, minimum of 40 hours
  • $210 license reinstatement fee

Possible defenses for a DUI charge

There is something called affirmative defense, but this is not usually a viable option. Instead, your lawyer may want to try one of these common defenses, depending on the circumstances of your arrest:

  • Improper stop
  • Improper or inaccurate field sobriety test
  • Inaccurate portable or standard breathalyzer test
  • Challenge to the administration or chain of custody of a blood test
  • Rising blood alcohol concentration

An arrest is unfortunate, but it does not necessarily mean that a judge will convict you. Remember, there is still hope. Legal defense is available to you and with good representation, this event can have minimal consequences on your future. One misunderstanding—or mistake—does not have to define you.