Individuals who are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) likely are aware that Georgia takes such offenses very seriously and meets a conviction with equally serious penalties. In most cases, the individual facing the charges or penalties should expect to have his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked, to pay fines, or even spend time in jail. However, one of the possible penalties that is not widely discussed in Georgia is the use of ignition interlock devices.
An ignition interlock device is a piece of equipment installed in a vehicle requiring the driver to submit a breath sample to a machine before the ignition will start. The breath sample tests for traces of alcohol and reports the information back to authorities. If the breath test registers alcohol, then the ignition will not start and the driver will be unable to use the vehicle. If the test does not register alcohol, then the ignition will start and the driver can proceed with his or her duties.
What are the Penalties for DUI in Georgia?
Georgia is very tough on DUI offenders. For individuals over 21 years of age, there are several standard penalties that may apply if a conviction is obtained against them, such as:
- Fines – Depending on the number of prior offenses, fines can range from $300 for a first time offense to up to $5,000 if there are more than three prior offenses.
- Incarceration – The possibility of incarceration is increased if there are multiple DUI convictions. For a first time offense, there is a possibility of up to one year in jail. If there are more than three prior convictions, the individual can be sentenced to up to five years in jail. Additional incarceration sentences may be added if there are mitigating circumstances in addition to the DUI, such as the presence of a minor, or if someone is killed.
- Driver’s License Suspension – There are two forms of driver’s license suspension, known as administrative and judicial. Administrative suspension refers to the immediate confiscation of a driver’s license based on a failed breath test, or refusal to take one, at the time of a traffic stop. Judicial suspension refers to the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license as ordered by a court as a sentence or plea agreement.
- Ignition Interlock Device – An ignition interlock device may be required in conjunction with other penalties, or as an alternative to suspending an individuals driver’s license. An ignition interlock device is a positive alternative to lengthy suspensions, but should not be taken for granted as the device is sensitive and reports the results to authorities.
- Alcohol or Drug Treatment – Depending on the situation, many people charged or convicted of DUI are required to attend an alcohol or drug treatment program, commonly called “DUI School” in many areas.
Avoid Strict Penalties with a DUI Defense
Abt Law Firm, LLC, zealously fights for the rights and best outcomes of anyone in Atlanta, and all across Georgia, who are facing DUI charges. Our experienced Atlanta DUI Defense Attorney knows how serious the penalties are for DUI convictions and will work diligently to keep your life and livelihood intact. Our office offers free consultations at the jail if you are incarcerated, in our office, or over the telephone. For your convenience, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To fight your DUI charges and get the results you need, contact Abt Law Firm, LLC right away at 1-800-NOJAIL-9 (1-800-665-2459). You do not have to fight a DUI charge alone. We can help!