Georgia’s Operation Zero Tolerance for DUI Creates Felony Level DUI Charge

According to the Chattanoogan.com, there has been a statewide DUI crackdown in Georgia. The Georgia DUI crackdown called “Operation Zero Tolerance,” was created when House Bill 336 was passed adding a felony level DUI charge for repeat offenders. This Georgia DUI bill was an important change in Georgia law where multiple Georgia DUI arrests can now lead to strict punishments and felony convictions for high-risk violators. A felony level DUI charge can be leveled against an offender who accumulates up to four drunk-driving convictions during a 10-year driving record.

Georgia DUI Statistics

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports that Georgia DUI currently ranks 7th in the nation, with 45,598 3rd time offenders, 5,782 5th time offenders, 298 Georgia DUI fatalities and 24% of total traffic deaths DUI related. MADD continues to report that Georgia DUI state subsidy of drunken driving fatalities is $1.46 Billion dollars. With almost one out of every three traffic deaths involving drunken driving, the problem of Georgia DUI is a serious one. In the U.S. someone is killed in a drunken driving crash every 52 minutes, or 10,228 people a year. Every 90-seconds someone is injured in a preventable event.

Georgia DUI Felony Law

Under Georgia DUI law, felony level charges can be charged against a driver with prior DUI convictions. Expert legal counsel is necessary immediately after your traffic stop, charge and possible arrest. Under the new Georgia DUI law convictions add up over a 10-year period and with an experienced Georgia DUI attorney your conviction may be dismissed or reduced to a lower level. Having immediate legal consultation can mean the difference between a felony conviction or a much lesser charge. The Georgia DUI convictions are as follows:

  • 1st and 2nd Georgia DUI convictions are misdemeanors
  • 3rd DUI conviction are treated as high and aggravated misdemeanors
  • 4th and further convictions within a 10-year period are treated as felonies

The fines and penalties for each of the convictions are as follows:

  • 1st Georgia DUI carries a fine up to $1,000, jail time from 10-days to 1-year, minimum of 40 hours of community service for those with DUI at .08 BAC or above, or minimum of 20 hours of community service for DUI below .08 BAC, completion of a DUI alcohol or drug use risk reduction program, a clinical evaluation and any prescribed follow up treatment, 1-year of probation.
  • 2nd Georgia DUI carries a fine up to $1,000, jail time from 90-days to 1-year, with a minimum of 72-hours of actual jail time, minimum of 30-days community service, the completion of a Georgia DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program, a clinical evaluation and completion of necessary treatment, 1-year probation.
  • 3rd time Georgia DUI carries fines up to $5,000, jail time from 120 days to 1-year with a minimum of 15 days of actual jail time, minimum of 30 days community service, completion of Georgia DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program, a clinical evaluation and completion of necessary treatment, 1-year probation.
  • 4th time and further Georgia DUI convictions carry fines up to $5,000, jail time from 1-year to 5-years with minimum of 90-days of actual jail time, minimum of 60-days of community service, completion of Georgia DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program, a clinical evaluation and any necessary treatment, 5-years’ probation.

Georgia DUI Defense Can Reduce Penalty Charges

An experienced Georgia DUI attorney can often have your case dismissed or penalty reduced. The State of Georgia has two ways to convict someone for DUI – one way is to show 0.08 grams or more of blood alcohol concentration within three hours of driving a vehicle which is called the “per se” provision under Georgia DUI law. The other way to convict is to show that the driver is “less safe” to drive a vehicle – even with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 grams or less, the State can try and convict under the provision you were “less safe” due to alcohol or other intoxicants. Having an Atlanta DUI attorney on your case from the beginning can very often rebut all inferences being made against you as well as attacking the accuracy of any field hand-held breathalyzer and field sobriety tests administered.

A good Georgia DUI defense can not only save you money in fines and insurance costs, but an expert in Georgia DUI legal provisions can also save you jail time, your driving license, and even your ability for a future job; a Georgia DUI charge goes on your permanent record. Get the Georgia DUI attorney you need to help reduce or clear your charges before you are faced with a felony record that will follow you wherever you go for the rest of your life – call Lisa Wells, Attorney at Law for the expert you need now.