Drunk Driving? / BUI? / OUI? / DWI? /Got a DUI? What is going to happen?
Driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to at least a day in jail, upwards of $1000 in fines, a year on probation, over thirty hours of community service, and a driver’s license suspension for up to a year. Previous violations, circumstances of your arrest, and your recorded blood alcohol content can contribute to the severity of your sentence. These are not the only penalties as this also can affect your records for employment.
DUI in Georgia is serious
DUI is defined in Georgia as the operating of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over 0.08 percent or when intoxicated to the point of normal faculties being impaired. If you have been arrested for DUI, it’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney skilled in DUI defense. Being arrested for a DUI does not mean that you are guilty of driving drunk. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at The Hamilton Law Firm can work with the prosecutors to have criminal DUI charges reduced, or in some cases, dismissed entirely.
10 Day Warning Rule
You have 10 business days following an arrest for DUI to notify the Georgia Department of Driver Services that you will be appealing the planned suspension of your Georgia drivers’ license.
Will I lose my license for DUI?
Not if you are successful in your appeal with the Georgia Department of Driver Services your drivers’ license. If the appeal is not successful, you could lose your license for up to one year.
Field sobriety tests If you have been arrested for a DUI at a Forsyth County police sobriety checkpoint, your rights may have been violated. Sobriety checkpoints are usually set up on roads leading to recreational parks like Lake Lanier especially on the weekends and late at night or early in the morning near areas with clubs that serve alcohol.
What if I refuse to take the breath test?
If you refuse to take a breath test at a roadblock or DUI sobriety checkpoint, your license will likely be suspended. As your defense attorneys, The Hamilton Law Firm would then schedule a hearing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services in order to appeal your suspension and to determine if in fact your rights were violated.
The State, empowered by the citizenry to protect and defend, makes mistakes.
The Hamilton Law Firm has the experience to know where the state tends to drop the ball and will work to find every opportunity and technicality to save your drivers license from suspension. You must work to provide for yourself and your family and driving is how you get to work. Field sobriety tests or a breath test may have been conducted improperly and in violation of your constitutional rights. Was the arrest lawful? Will the evidence against you stand up in court? Evidence may be dismissed based upon simple procedural violations or other types of mistakes. The police are trained to look for signs of impairment, indications that you have been drinking. Everything you do is being watched and likely recorded, as they look for evidence to build a DUI case. Your appearance, speech patterns, the smell of alcohol, the way you get out of your car and follow instructions, everything is noted.
Most sobriety checkpoints are highly subjective.
The skilled DUI attorneys at The Hamilton Law Firm will bring into question the reliability and accuracy of the entire checkpoint process. The experienced DUI lawyers at The Hamilton Law Firm know the rules the police are required to follow and will make certain they did.
The “Less Safe” law in Georgia.
If you pass a sobriety breath test, you can still be arrested for DUI. If the police officer believes that you are under the influence of a drug or alcohol and “less safe” to drive than you should be in his view, you can be charged. There no concrete measurement of DUI required except the JUDGEMENT of the arresting officer. The issues may be the training of the arresting officer, the way he conducted the test and his professional ability to make such a subjective judgment. The Hamilton Law Firm has successfully represented many facing DUI convictions in court and at their DMV hearings.
Multiple DUI convictions
Even with multiple DUI convictions, the DUI lawyers at The Hamilton Law Firm can help. Those convicted of DUI for a fourth time will be charged with a felony, a $5,000 fine, 60 days of community service, mandatory alcohol treatment program, and up to 5 years in jail.
DUI Penalties in the Sate of Georgia 1st DUI Conviction:
A fine of $300 – $1,000. 10 days to 12 months in Jail, with 24 hours minimum (the judge may suspend or probate the sentence). Community service of 20 hours (if the BAC was less than 0.08 at the time of the offense) or 40 hours or more for all others. Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. A clinical evaluation, and, if recommended, completion of a substance abuse treatment program (the judge can suspend this requirement).
2nd DUI Conviction:
Within a 10-year period: A fine $600 – $1,000. 90 days in Jail, not to exceed 12 months (the judge can order probation in lieu of the full sentence for up to twelve months), a minimum of 72 hours of your sentence in jail, and 30 days or more of community service. Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. Clinical evaluation and a substance abuse treatment program. A public notice ($25 cost to you) will be printed in the newspaper, along with your booking photograph.
3rd DUI Conviction:
Within a 10-year period: A fine of $1,000 to $5,000. 120 days is Jail, not to exceed 12 months. (judge could order probation in lieu of a portion of this sentence, with at least fifteen days in prison.) At least 30 days of community service. Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. A clinical evaluation and, and if recommended, the completion of a substance abuse treatment program. A public notice ($25 cost to you) will be printed in the newspaper, along with your booking photograph.
4th DUI / FELONY DUI Conviction:
Within a 10-year period: A fine of $1,000 – $5,000. 1 to 5 years in Jail (the judge may probate a portion of that sentence) At least 90 days in jail. At least 60 days of community service (judge may suspend if you are sentenced to three or more years in jail). Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. A clinical evaluation and, if recommended the completion of a substance abuse treatment program. A public notice ($25 cost to you) will be printed in the newspaper, along with your booking photograph.
DUI with Injury / UP to 15 years in PRISON
If you are involved in a wreck with injuries while DUI, you will likely be charged with a felony, pay significant fines to the state and forced to give restitution to the injured. Prison is a real possibility. A personal injury lawsuit is also a strong likelihood. In a DUI with injury case, the state must prove that the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) reading of .08% or more was accurate, that you were impaired while operating the vehicle and that the person was responsible for causing the accident which resulted in injury.
Additional traffic violations are usually including in the charges; following too closely, aggressive driving, failure to yield, reckless driving, speeding and hit and run. Driving without insurance or driving with a suspended license is routinely included in an arrest for a DUI.
Leaving the scene of a DUI accident
Leaving the scene of an auto accident could result in you being charged with a hit-and-run. It becomes a felony crime when the accident resulted in injury or death.
BUI / Boating under the influence
A BUI is similar to a DUI, the same penalties can be applied in the event of a conviction, including fines, mandatory rehabilitation classes, and jail time.