Georgia’s harsh DUI penalties

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2017 | criminal defense

The heart skips a beat anytime the cherries flash in the rearview. When that traffic stop turns into a DUI citation it’s an even bigger concerns. Drunk driving puts others at great risk, and a DUI ticket is expensive and damaging for years to come.

Whether you take a field sobriety test or a breath test, the results aren’t concrete. The anxiety of a traffic stop can greatly affect concentration and balance, and breath test equipment is subject to error if it’s not used properly.

In Georgia, DUI penalties are harsh. According to a recent list by finance website WalletHub, Georgia is the second strictest state in the country.

Twofold punishment

The state has two manners of punishment. First, a DUI is a criminal offense. Severe DUIs – blowing over .15 BAC – can result in extra penalties, such as felony charges and increased jail time. However, even a first DUI right at the legal limit comes with a 10-day jail sentence. The state also suspends your license when you are charged. The one year (360 days) suspension is the strictest in the country.

For many, the aftermath of a DUI is just as challenging as the situation itself. After the initial fines, fees and punishment are finished, the license suspension sticks. There are additional costs and daily challenges when you lose your license.

Even after your license is restored, you’ll deal with a criminal record. A felony can limit career opportunities and may cause banks to have second thoughts about a loan. Housing applications and others will also note the felony when conducting a background check. Auto insurance rates also increase significantly for several years following an arrest.

Your right to defense

Like any criminal charge, though, you have the right to defense. Georgia may have strict DUI policies, but police still need to follow proper procedures for traffic stops, including probable cause. Breath test equipment needs to be up to date and maintained. An improperly calibrated machine can give false positives.

While it’s frightening when the cherries start to flash, a DUI is just like any other police interaction. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to consult with an attorney to make sure your rights are upheld and that the evidence against you is valid. Otherwise, the penalties can be severe.