While every client’s situation is unique, as are the potential effects of a Georgia DUI conviction, Georgia law does mandate some minimum punishments on a first DUI. Remember, an attorney can guide you through the specifics of how a plea might affect your particular situation i.e. professional licenses, company disclosure guidelines, etc. At a minimum, under Georgia’s DUI laws, you will:
- Serve at least 24 hours of actual incarceration
- Perform 40 hours of community service
- Serve 12 months on probation, usually reporting at least once a month to a probation officer
- Be subjected to random drug and alcohol screens for the probation period
- Abstain from the use of alcohol and drugs for the probation period
- Attend a 20 hour, in-class Georgia Risk Reduction Program (DUI School)
- Pay fines of no less than $300.00, not including costs and surcharges
These are absolute minimum guidelines under Georgia DUI law. However, in practice, there are often times more conditions pushed for by the State in DUI prosecutions. Getting a substance abuse evaluation is almost always advocated for by the prosecutor, as well as any substance abuse treatment that is recommended by your evaluator. Attendance at a MADD victim impact panel is also becoming more commonplace, as are mandatory A/A meetings.
With the political pressures facing Georgia Judges, prosecutors, and politicians to put an end to drunk driving, these punishments are almost certain to become more and more burdensome in the future. Bills have already been introduced, and are winding their way through Georgia’s Congress, that would require all first time Georgia DUI offenders to get an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle.