DUI Per Se Georgia: Everything You Need to Know

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Have you been charged with breaking Georgia’s DUI per se law? Contact Philip Kim Law, P.C. for legal representation. We can help in your case.


Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on July 25, 2023.


Driving Under Influence

Did you know that in Georgia, driving under the influence (DUI) is not just limited to alcohol? That’s right. Even prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication can lead to a DUI charge. Understanding DUI per se Georgia laws can be confusing and overwhelming.

Philip Kim Law, P.C. can help you if you are facing DUI field sobriety or breathalyzer tests. Our DUI lawyers can guide you on all the steps to avoid serious problems with the authorities.


DUI Charges in Georgia

Alcohol content in the blood (BAC) measures how intoxicated a person is from alcohol. The legal limit for adults over 21 who are over the legal drinking age is .08% BAC. This limit applies to someone not driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in Georgia. The BAC limit for commercial drivers in Georgia is 0.04%,

In Georgia, drivers can face two types of DUI charges. They include DUI per se and DUI less safe. DUI per se is when a person’s alcohol concentration level surpasses the legal limit of 0.08%. In this case, it doesn’t matter if you were impaired or not when driving. As per Georgia DUI laws, having a BAC over the limit is enough to warrant a charge of driving under the influence.

However, even if your blood alcohol concentration is below 0.08%, you may still be charged with DUI if you exhibit a level of impairment, such as erratic behavior. To determine impairment, officers can conduct field sobriety tests such as the walk-and-turn, one-leg-stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

DUI less safe charge in Georgia does not require B.A.C. proof. It only takes the observation of the arresting officer that you were “less safe” to drive due to intoxication by alcohol or drugs. Therefore, you can still be charged with DUI less safe if your blood alcohol concentration is below 0.08%.

Penalties for DUI Per Se in Georgia

The crime is treated as a misdemeanor when you are convicted of a DUI per se offense for the first and second time.

Georgia DUI penalties for the first DUI offense include:

  • A fine of between $300 and $1,000

  • Jail time sentence of a maximum of 12 months

  • Undertake at least 40 hours of community service

The judge may recommend you undertake an alcohol risk reduction program.

A second conviction for breaking DUI laws has the following penalties:

  • A fine of between $600 and $1,000

  • At least 30 days undertaking community service

  • Increased jail time and probation

Penalties for a third conviction of DUI per see include

  • A fine of between $1,000 and $5,000

  • Minimum jail sentence of 120 days

  • Maximum of 12 months

The penalties for DUI are severe, and a conviction can negatively impact your life in other areas as well. Additionally, you cannot expunge the record of these charges. Therefore, hiring a DUI lawyer who has experience fighting DUI charges is crucial.

Defenses Available for DUI Per Se Charges

Defenses available to those facing DUI convictions include the following.

  • There was no probable cause for the traffic stop or DUI arrest

  • The failure of law enforcement officers to give Miranda warnings in DUI cases

  • Incorrectly administered field sobriety tests

  • The falsely inflated BAC was caused by pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes or hypoglycemia

  • As a result of mouth alcohol, the BAC resulted in a falsely high level

Hiring a knowledgeable attorney who can help in your case thoroughly is vital. The attorney can determine which defense strategies may work for your specific circumstances.

No Matter the Situation, Call a Georgia DUI Lawyer at Philip Kim Law, P.C. Today!

The consequences of a DUI arrest can impact your career and education opportunities for years to come. Our attorneys understand the importance of a positive outcome in your case. You can rely on our extensive knowledge and experience to ensure that your rights are upheld and that you achieve the best result possible in your circumstances.

Our DUI attorneys will be able to guide you through the entire DUI process and push for the best possible outcome for your case.

Our team will carefully examine and gather evidence to support your DUI case. We will examine all evidence provided by law enforcement officers, including breathalyzer results, blood test reports, field sobriety tests, and witness statements. We will consult with expert witnesses if necessary to challenge any questionable aspects of police evidence.

Our team will then present it to the court in a persuasive manner specifically tailored to your defense.

Additionally, our criminal lawyers in Lawrenceville can negotiate with the prosecution for a plea deal to reduce or drop your charges. We will be with you every step of the way and prepare you for all potential outcomes of your case.

If you are facing DUI per se charges, defenses are available to help your case. Various arguments apply to different case scenarios. Call us today to speak with one of our attorneys at Philip Kim Law, P.C., about your situation. We can review your case and help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Refuse to Take a BAC Test in Georgia?

The law requires that you submit to a chemical test administered by the state of Georgia, whether it be blood, breath, urine, or even other bodily substances.

Failure to adhere to the test can lead to revocation of your Georgia driver’s license. Notably, reckless driving can also lead to losing the privilege to drive for a year.

How Long Will a DUI Charge Stay On My Driving Record?

In Georgia, DUI charges will remain on your driving record for ten years. A subsequent DUI arrest during this period will result in harsher penalties.

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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