Georgia DUI Laws

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Georgia DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08%. There are lower thresholds for those who are underage or anyone operating a commercial vehicle.
In the United States, over 10,000 people are killed as a result of drunk driving crashes each year.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUI laws in Georgia.
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What is a DUI?

A DUI is considered driving under the influence, while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. It is left to the discretion of each state to determine the difference between the two.
A DUI charge could mean that the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs—even if the drugs weren’t illicit. A driver could be charged with a DUI while on prescription or over-the-counter drugs if the drugs cause impairment.
Some states use a different terminology altogether, instead favoring OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated).

DUI in Georgia

Georgia DUI laws prohibit driving or controlling a vehicle if:
  • You have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more (this drops to 0.04% or higher if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle and 0.02% or higher if the driver is under 21 years old)
  • You are under the influence of any controlled substance, alcohol, or drugs
  • You are found with any traces of illegal drugs or marijuana in your blood or urine
Drivers also can be convicted of a per se DUI by having a BAC of 0.08% or more, no matter their level of incapacitation.
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
All people who drive in Georgia are considered to have tacitly given their consent to a blood, breath, or urine alcohol or drug test. A driver who is arrested for a DUI but refuses to submit to a lawful request for a chemical test will be subject to license suspension.

Penalties for DUI in Georgia

Penalties for DUIs in Georgia range based on the number of previous DUI convictions the driver has received within the previous ten years. The penalties for a DUI in Georgia are as follows:

First offense

Fine$300 to $1,000
JailUp to 12 months
License suspensionUp to 12 months
Vehicle impoundmentNo
SR-22 requirementNo
Community serviceMinimum 20 hours

Second conviction

Fine$600 to $1,000
JailUp to 12 months
License suspensionThree-year suspension
Vehicle impoundmentYes
SR-22 requirementNo
Community serviceMinimum of 30 days

Third conviction

Fine$1000 to $5,000
JailUp to 12 months
License suspensionPermanent revocation
Vehicle impoundmentYes
SR-22 requirementNo
Community serviceMinimum of 30 days
Anyone convicted of a DUI will be placed on probation for 12 months. Further penalties can be added if the driver is transporting a minor. This counts as child endangerment, which can add up to $1,000 in fines and up to 12 months in jail to the regular consequences.
Motorists convicted of a DUI must complete an alcohol and drug clinical evaluation and attend a treatment program. Drivers who are convicted of a second offense also must complete a risk reduction program.
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Felony DUI charges in Georgia

A DUI is generally a misdemeanor in Georgia, but it could be upgraded to a felony if:
  • It’s the driver’s fourth DUI conviction within ten years
  • The driver attempts to evade an officer while under the influence
  • The driver causes serious injury or death to another person (including an unborn fetus)
These situations may result in more severe consequences, including prison time of at least a year.

Hardship licenses

A driver can apply for a hardship license unless they had a previous DUI within five years or were involved in a DUI collision. To qualify, the driver must:
  • Be in treatment or accountability court
  • Operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device (IID) and be subject to travel restrictions
Drivers with one prior DUI in the last five years can apply for a hardship license after having their license suspended for 120 days.
Key Takeaway Minimum penalties for DUIs increase for each subsequent offense. DUI laws in Georgia also dictate harsher penalties for motorists with a passenger, especially if the passenger is a child.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Georgia?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously. You’ll be classified as a high-risk driver for insurance purposes.
It can be difficult to secure insurance with a DUI on your record, so you’ll probably need to look at a number of providers to find a policy that works for you.
Jerry can quickly compare rates from up to 50 top insurers so that you don’t have to spend time completing online forms and dealing with sales calls.
Upon getting a DUI, expect your rates to rise substantially. Your insurance company will also need to file an SR-22 in Georgia on your behalf to confirm that you hold the state-mandated minimum insurance.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, your life can be severely impacted by a DUI.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked—especially if you have multiple DUIs or other offenses.
Ignition interlock device: Some type of ignition interlock program is common in all states. These programs require drivers who are convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: DUIs appear on background checks, which could adversely impact future employment opportunities.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

If you need help finding affordable insurance after a DUI conviction, Jerry can help. After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
To ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
“I saw an ad for Jerry on Instagram and decided to give it a try. I have a terrible driving record, but Nathan still helped me. Before, almost no one wanted to insure me. Now, I have a great policy and save $200/month. I’m one happy gal!” —Terri C.
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