As most people know, driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law. However, even these laws can vary from state to state, and individuals in Georgia can benefit from understanding the laws associated with this type of situation, especially if police officers stop them.
If an officer does stop your vehicle, you may immediately feel nervous. If the officer suspects that you are intoxicated or mistakes your nervousness for impairment, you could easily wind up facing serious criminal charges for DUI.
When it comes to an officer placing you under arrest for DUI violations, it can happen in one of two ways. If you submit to a breath or blood test and the results indicate that your blood alcohol concentration level is .08 percent, authorities will likely believe that you have violated per se DUI law. As a result, the officer does not need any other evidence in order to place you under arrest. Another scenario is that an officer determines that you drove while physically or mentally impaired.
After a charge for DUI in Georgia, you could face two types of penalties: criminal and administrative. On the criminal side, you could face fines, jail time, community service or other consequences. However, the state's Department of Driver Services will handle the administrative penalties, which could result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. This separation means that the court will not have a say in the status of your driver's license privileges.
Implied consent law also applies, so if you refuse to take a blood alcohol concentration test, the DDS will automatically suspend your license for one year. If you face a DUI charge and are convicted for the first time, you could face up to one year in jail, driver's license suspension, a DUI education course, 40 hours of community service, up to a $1,000 fine and probation. These possible penalties increase with each DUI offense.
Of course, if you face a DUI charge, you do not have to expect a conviction. You may have valid information that you could include in your defense in an effort to avoid a negative outcome. Working with an attorney during such a case could help you understand your options and how the details of your predicament could influence your overall case.