Legal Alcohol Limit Georgia

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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 February 21, 2024.


GA Legal Alcohol Limit

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a significant risk of severe injuries and fatalities to passengers, drivers, and other road users. Beyond the potential physical harm, being arrested and convicted for DUI can have serious consequences on your freedom and criminal record.

Understanding the legal alcohol limit prescribed under Georgia Georgia DUI laws is crucial for avoiding arrest or conviction. Attorneys well-versed in DUI laws can provide the necessary guidance to help you comprehend these regulations and avoid legal troubles. In the event of a DUI arrest, they can also assist in developing effective defense strategies to mitigate the charges.

At Philip Kim Law, P.C., our experienced attorneys are dedicated to offering the guidance and representation needed in DUI cases.

What Is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?

In Georgia, Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is a crucial metric in determining whether an individual is driving under the influence (DUI). The BAC legal limit for drivers over the age of 21 is 0.08% while the limit is 0.04% for commercial motor vehicle drivers. For individuals under 21 in Georgia, any trace of alcohol in their system can lead to DUI charges due to the state’s zero-tolerance policy. Law enforcement often employs field sobriety tests to gauge a driver’s impairment level, which may involve tasks like walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. However, these tests have limitations and can be affected by factors such as medical conditions and surroundings.

Law enforcement frequently employs breathalyzer tests to measure a driver’s blood alcohol level at the scene of a traffic stop. These tests analyze the alcohol content in a person’s breath to estimate their BAC level. It’s important to note that breathalyzer results can be influenced by factors such as the calibration of the device and the timing of the test concerning the individual’s last alcoholic drink.

In Georgia, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test can have significant consequences, including an automatic license suspension. However, individuals have the right to refuse these tests, although there may be legal ramifications.

Factors Influencing Blood Alcohol Content

Several factors may influence your Georgia alcohol driving limit, including the following:

  • Your weight.

  • Your food intake while drinking.

  • How many drinks you have and how long you have been drinking.

  • Your alcohol tolerance.

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, concussions, and sleep apnea.

GA DUI Laws and Regulations

Georgia DUI laws criminalize driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As per OCGA § 40-6-391 provides that no person shall drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent it is less safe for them to drive.

DUI convictions have severe consequences, including jail time, hefty fine imposition, increased insurance rates, community service, probationary period, and driving privileges suspension.

Your first two DUI offenses within ten years are considered misdemeanors, while your third is deemed a high and aggravated misdemeanor. If you are convicted of DUI the fourth time, you would be considered to have committed a felony in GA, which attracts a harsher punishment.

Consequences of Exceeding the Legal Alcohol Limit

Mandatory Georgia DUI penalties and fines are imposed for persons convicted of DUI. A judge can sentence you anywhere between the minimum and maximum penalty for a DUI offense.

When convicted of a DUI offense for the first time, the minimum penalty is 24 hours in jail, 40 hours of community service, and a fine of $300. However, the maximum penalty is up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000.

For a second DUI conviction, the penalty is a minimum of 72 hours of jail time, a $600 fine, DUI school enrolment, substance abuse evaluation, and 240 hours of community service. The maximum jail time is one year and up to $1,000.

For a third DUI conviction, the penalty is between 15 days of jail time and one year of jail time, fines between $1,000 and $5,000, 12 months of probation, and a minimum of 240 hours of community service.

However, the maximum penalty for a fourth DUI conviction is up to 5 years of prison time and a $5,000 fine. Additional penalties include the imposition of a 10-year driver’s license suspension, with the possibility of obtaining a permit equipped with an ignition interlock device after a two-year period.

Long-Term Impacts

DUI conviction can have lasting and long-term impacts on your personal and professional life. Generally, a DUI conviction permanently remains in a convict’s criminal record. This record will appear anytime a third party, such as an employer or police officer, conducts a criminal background check on you.

In addition to the presence of a DUI conviction in your criminal record, DUI arrests, and convictions will cost you time and money and can also prevent your future employment opportunities or lead to a loss of your job.

Preventative Measures and Responsible Drinking

You should know your limits, ensure you hydrate, avoid binge drinking, eat before consuming alcoholic beverages, and understand standard drink sizes. Even with all these measures in place, you must avoid driving after consuming alcohol.

If you intend to drink, make arrangements for a designated driver. Suppose you do not have a designated driver and you have had too much alcohol, it will benefit you to get a sober friend to drive you home or take a cab or use rideshare services rather than put yourself at risk of being arrested for DUI or causing fatal accidents.


Philip Kim Law, P.C., Can Help You!


Understanding the legal alcohol limit can help you to be proactive in avoiding the commission of a DUI offense by adhering to Georgia’s legal alcohol limit. However, in a situation where you are arrested for DUI per se Georgia or DUI less safe, it may be a good idea to hire experienced DUI attorneys immediately after your arrest. Being arrested for DUI does not automatically guarantee a conviction. 

At Philip Kim Law, P.C., our attorneys can help you analyze your DUI case, build robust defense strategies for you, and represent you effectively at your DUI trials.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

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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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