Locating a DUI in the State of Georgia

A DUI, or a conviction that finds a driver guilty of Driving Under the Influence, is a misdemeanor, and a serious offense in Georgia. Court records that result in conviction of a person found to have been operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another inebriant are a matter of public record. Searching for, obtaining, and studying these records are a public right under Georgia’s Public Records Law, and can be easily obtained through a number of record search websites.

Singer and hip hop artist Aaron Carter was arrested in 2017 for drinking and driving, as well as on possession charges.

DUIs in Georgia cover multiple categories of infractions. A DUI can occur when a driver operates a vehicle while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, and a test results in a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or higher. Drivers with a Commercial Drivers face more stringent laws, and can incur a DUI with a BAC of just .04%. MinLicenseors can also be charged with impaired driving while their BAC is above .02%.

If charged with a DUI, a driver may face penalties that aim to prevent them from driving while intoxicated. The minimum penalties for being convicted of a DUI as a first time offense in Georgia are: a suspended license for up to 1 year, A $300-1,000 fine, a $210 fee for license reinstatement, mandatory DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program, 40 hours of community service, a possibility of 1 year in jail or prison, and a limited driving permit depending on the offender’s BAC at the time of the arrest.

Minimum punishments for a second offense (within five years of the first) are between 18 months and three years of license suspension, fines between $600 and $1,000, a $210 fee for license reinstatement, a DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program, clinical evaluation and possible treatment, a minimum 30 days of community service, a minimum of 48 hours in jail with a possibility of up to 1 year imprisonment, the possible installation of an interlock ignition device, and the possibility of a limited driving permit depending on the offender’s BAC at the time of the arrest.

After the third offense, offenders are subject to the Georgia DMV Habitual Violator status, which revoke license privileges for five years. Minimum penalties after a third DUI violation are fines between $1,000 and $5,000, $410 in fees for license reinstatement, at least 15 days in jail and 30 days community service, mandatory attendance at a DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program, clinical evaluation and treatment, the installation of an interlock ignition device and a limited driving permit, and the mandatory inclusion of the offender’s name, address, and photo in their local newspaper at the offender’s expense.


President Ronald Reagan signs legislation to change the national drinking age from 18 to 21.

Numerous DUI offenses in Georgia require an alcohol or drug risk reduction program (RRP). Regardless of the age of the offender, offenders will have to complete this program to complete their punishment. The RRP consists of two components: The assessment, which includes 130 questions that determine the impact of the driver’s alcohol and drug use has had on their driving, and the intervention, which lasts for 20 hours and takes place in a group setting over several sessions. The RRP costs $355, and must be completed before application for a limited driving license.

From 1981 to 1986, under pressure from such advocacy groups as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Georgia's legislature passed increasingly stringent laws in relation to drinking and driving. Besides raising the minimum drinking age to 21, the two biggest changes that were enacted were that now DUI offenders would be prosecuted with the intent to convict, and that blood alcohol content (BAC) tests would determine if a driver was intoxicated, rather than the loose definition that had existed up to the point. Even determining a driver’s BAC was difficult initially.

 

The first device to see field use was called the “drunkometer” and consisted of a rubber balloon filled with reactive chemicals that would change when coming into contact a drunk driver’s breath. This would finally be replaced by the more standard Breathalyzer in 1954.

Candace Lightner shares the story of the creation of MADD, arguably the most influential anti-drunk driving originization.