DUI is a serious offense in Georgia. Even first-time offenders can receive stiff penalties and consequences that can impact their futures. The penalties for a first time DUI offense in Georgia depend on a range of factors.

You can face jail time ranging from 24 hours or more to a year of probation for the first time drunk driving offense.  You are likely to face fines of $300 to $1,000 depending on the judge’s decision. You may also face up to 40 hours community service.

Depending on the circumstances of your offense, a judge may order you to complete an alcohol education program.

The year of probation is a mandatory minimum punishment. If you spend 24 hours in jail you will spend another 11 months and 29 days on probation with the prospect of being locked up if you re-offend.

Georgia law does not have a first offender act on DUI convictions. This means no expungement is available to hide the DUI from your criminal record. A first offense cannot be handled by diversion or withholding judgment.

Often for DUI offenders, the most serious inconvenience will be the withholding of your driver’s license.

For a first DUI conviction in Georgia, your license will be confiscated by the court and surrendered to the local Department of Driver Services office.

You will immediately lose your right to drive unless you are eligible by submitting to the implied consent test.

In Georgia, a police officer can petition the Department of Driver Services to suspend your driver’s license under the Georgia implied consent statute following a positive blood/alcohol test.

The officer can also petition for suspension if you refuse a blood, breath or urine test when suspected of drunk driving.

The officer must issue you with a DS-1205 form stating why your license has been suspended. The form is a notice of license suspension and a temporary driving permit. It informs you of your right to appeal this suspension of your driver’s license based on the Georgia implied consent law.

You have two options to proceed. You can request a hearing or agree to have an ignition interlock device limited permit through the Department of Driver Services. If you do nothing your Georgia driver’s license will be suspended at the end of 45 days.

If you receive a first DUI-drugs conviction you will not be able to gain a limited driving permit. DUI-drugs convictions result in a minimum hard suspension for a first offense. A second offense DUI drugs conviction will lead to a one-year suspension.

If you have been charged with DUI and are seeking a Newnan or Peachtree City criminal lawyer, call The Law Office of Michael West P.C., immediately for a review of your case. Call us at (404) 913-1529.