Georgia DUI laws are tough and enforcement of these laws is rigorous. The standard for an unlawful blood alcohol content has been lowered from .10 to .08. The standard is even lower for those operating a commercial vehicle with a Commercial Drivers License (.04). It is lower still for those under 21 years of age (.02).
If you are an automobile is stopped and if the police officer smells alcohol, he can ask you to take a battery of field sobriety tests. These can include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (HGN), the Walk and Turn test, the One-Legged Stand Test, and the handheld breath test on a device called an Alcosensor (not a Breathalyzer).
If you perform poorly on these standardized evaluations, or if the police officer otherwise suspects impairment, you will be arrested. At the time you are placed under arrest for DUI, the officer is supposed to read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice to you. He will designate which of the three tests, including blood, breath, or urine, he wants to take (he can designate all three if he wishes).
If you take the test and have an unlawful blood-alcohol level, or if you refuse to take the test, you have just ten business days to request an administrative license suspension hearing. If you do not request the hearing within the ten business days, your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia will be suspended for 1 to 5 years by operation of law, depending upon your record. And that is before you go to court.
If you are convicted of DUI:
you can go to jail for up to a year
you will have to do at least 40 hours of community service
you will have to pay a big fine
you will lose your drivers license for 1 to 5 years
you will have to attend DUI school (also called alcohol risk reduction school)
you will have to pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back
you will have higher insurance premiums
you might have to have an ignition interlock device placed on your car
you might have to turn in the license plates on all the vehicles you own
you might have your picture published in the newspaper
you might have to attend alcohol counseling
As you can see, being arrested for Driving Under the Influence in Georgia is complicated and the potential consequences can be severe. You deserve the best DUI attorney you can find.
At Ladin & Associates, we understand the importance of protecting you in these matters, so we work with you and the State to try to get these charges dismissed or reduced.