DUI: What Do I Need To Know?

Here are some common questions that people who have been arrested in Cumming or around the Atlanta metro area may have.

Can I be arrested even if I'm not over the legal limit?

Even if your blood alcohol concentration is under .08 — the standard for a DUI charge — you could still be arrested for exhibiting behavior that a law enforcement officer interprets as dangerous. This might occur even if you've only had a single drink or have taken other substances such as marijuana, narcotics or even medications prescribed to you by a doctor.

Will I lose my license for a first-offense DUI?

Proceedings to revoke your driver's license can begin almost immediately after your arrest. You could have a difficult time getting it back if you don't respond quickly to this action.

What kind of penalties could I face?

The penalties one faces when charged with DUI depend on the level of intoxication, the number of previous offenses, whether property damage was done in the course of operating the motor vehicle under the influence, whether or not an individual was injured during the DUI, and numerous others.

  • First Offense DUI in Georgia - Misdemeanor
    • Up to one year in jail
    • Monetary fine of up to $1,000
    • Suspension of driver's license for up to a year
    • Community service
    • Probation
    • DUI education course
  • Second Offense DUI in Georgia - Misdemeanor
    • Up to one year in jail
    • Monetary fine of $1,000 to $5,000
    • Suspension of driver's license for up to three years
    • Community service
    • Probation
    • Substance abuse treatment or DUI education course
    • Possible installation of an Ignition Interlock System
  • Third Offense DUI in Georgia - Misdemeanor
    • Up to one year in jail
    • Monetary fine of $1,000 to $5,000
    • Suspension of driver's license for up to five years
    • Community service
    • Probation
    • Substance abuse treatment or DUI education course
    • Possible installation of an Ignition Interlock System
  • Fourth Offense DUI in Georgia - Felony
    • State prison time - one to five years
    • Up to $5,000 in monetary fines

How does law enforcement determine if I am intoxicated?

The officer who stopped you on suspicion of drunk driving will administer a range of tests, called field sobriety tests, that are designed to test your motor function and mental capability at the time of the traffic stop. Some of the common field sobriety tests are:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus, where an officer examines the subject's eyes while he or she looks from side to side.
  • Walk and turn, where a subject is asked to walk heel-to-toe and along a straight line to examine balance and coordination.
  • One-leg stand test, where an officer has the accused stand on one leg so coordination and balance can again be examined.

The officer may also administer a Breathalyzer test at the scene, or have you taken into custody for a blood sample or urine sample to be tested for blood alcohol content (BAC).

Do I have to take a Breathalyzer?

Georgia is a state that utilizes implied consent laws. This means that anyone who holds a driver's license gives their implicit consent to complying with the request for a Breathalyzer; they are agreeing to take the test by simply having a driver's license.

While you may refuse the Breathalyzer test, officers may detain you and request that a blood or urine sample be tested for blood alcohol content. You may also face additional criminal punishments if you do not cooperate.

So no, you do not have the take the Breathalyzer, but there are few, if any, ways around law enforcement obtaining your blood alcohol content.

Speak With An Attorney Today

Contact Miles Hansford & Tallant, LLC, today or call 770-744-1111 to learn what attorney Brian Hansford can do for you. You can reach our lawyers and staff after hours at 678-343-8075.

In addition to our Cumming office, we have a new location in Roswell in the Gilbert House at 38 Sloan Street that is available by appointment.