FAQ

DUI Defense

What are the criminal charges for driving impaired in Georgia?

What are the criminal penalties for DUI in the state of Georgia?

What is the Ten Day Rule?

What are Standard Field Sobriety Evaluations (SFSTs)?

DUI Per

The State must show that the driver had a 0.08 grams or more blood alcohol concentration within three hours, during or after, driving or otherwise being in control of a vehicle.

DUI Less Safe

The State must show that the driver had alcohol and/or drugs that made him/her a less safe driver.

What are the criminal penalties for DUI in the state of Georgia?

First Conviction: Up to $1,000.00 fine; 10 days to 12 months in jail; DUI school; 40 hours of community service; 12 months of probation; 1 year license suspension.

Second Conviction: Up to $1,000.00 fine; 90 days to 12 months in jail; DUI school, 30 days of community services, mandatory alcohol evaluation and/or treatment; up to 12 months of probation; 3 years loss of license; installation of an ignition interlock device.

Third Conviction: Up to $5,000.00 fine; 120 days to 1 year in jail; 30 days of community service; alcohol evaluation and/or treatment; up to 1 year of probation; 5 years license revocation; installation of an ignition interlocking device.

Fourth Conviction: Is considered a felony offense; fine of $5,000.00; and 1 to 5 years in state prison and other penalties.

What is the Ten Day Rule?

If you are charged with a DUI in the state of Georgia, there is a Ten Day Rule you must adhere to. Whether you refused to take a blood, breathe or urine test or you took one of these tests and your result is 0.08 or greater, you have only 10 days to request an administrative hearing regarding the suspension of your driver’s license.

What are Standard Field Sobriety Evaluations (SFSTs)?

When an officer makes a traffic stop to investigate a possible DUI, the officer will conduct Field Sobriety Evaluations to assist him in determining if the person is an impaired driver. These evaluations are strictly voluntary and you are not required to perform them. However, if you do perform the evaluations, the results are considered evidence and will be used during trial.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the following three standard evaluations: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand.

HGN: is an involuntary jerking of the eye that occurs as the eye gaze toward the side. The involuntary jerking of the eyes becomes readily noticeable when a person is impaired. As a person’s blood alcohol concentration increases, the eyes will begin to jerk sooner as they move to the side. The officer is looking for three indicators of impairment: 1) if the eye cannot follow the moving stimulus (pen or finger) smoothly; 2) if the jerking is distinct when the eye is at maximized deviation; 3) if the angle at which the jerking starts is within 45-degrees angle.

Walk and Turn: The Walk and Turn evaluation is conducted by having a person take nine steps, heel-to-toe, along an imaginary straight line, followed by a turn on one foot and nine steps back in the same direction.

The officer looks for eight indicators of impairment: 1.) Cannot keep balance while listening to instructions; 2.) Starts before instruction are completed; 3.) Stops while walking to regain balance; 4.) Does not touch heel-to-toe; 5.) Steps off the imaginary line; 6.) Uses arms to maintain balance; 7.) Makes an improper turn; and 8.) Takes an incorrect number of steps.

One Leg Stand: The One Leg Stand evaluation is conducted by having a person stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground and count aloud to a specific number determined by the officer, or until told to stop. The officer is looking for four indicators of impairment: 1) swaying while balancing; 2) using arms to balance; 3) hopping to maintain balance; and 4) putting the foot down.