The DUI Process in Georgia

If you need help understanding the DUI process in Georgia, contact The Atlantic Law Firm, LLC for assistance.

Georgia DUI Laws

Georgia’s DUI laws make it illegal to operate a car with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that it impairs your ability to operate a vehicle safely. 

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia include fines, driver’s license suspension, mandatory alcohol treatment, and imprisonment. Georgia’s implied consent law applies to a chemical test to determine their BAC if suspected of DUI in Georgia, and refusal to submit to testing can result in additional DUI penalties.

Georgia DUI Arrest


A Georgia arresting officer may make an arrest and charge a driver with DUI if they have probable cause to suspect that the person is operating a vehicle under the influence. The arrest process typically involves field sobriety tests and a blood alcohol concentration or breath test to determine the driver’s BAC. 

If the driver’s B.A.C. exceeds the legal limit, the arresting officer puts them in custody and books them. In Georgia, drivers can be prosecuted without breath tests if the officer claims a driver is a “less skillful and less proficient driver due to consumption of alcohol.” 

DUI Jail Time in Georgia

In Georgia DUI laws, you can face a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine, one-year in jail, or both for the first DUI offense. The minimum legal penalty for your first criminal offense includes a $300 fine, 24 hours in jail, followed by 12 months of probation, 40 hours of community service, a drug and alcohol evaluation, and Risk Reduction (commonly called “DUI School”).  Further- all Coastal Georgia courts require one Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Impact Panel.

If it is your second DUI within ten years, the penalties increase and the minimum DUI penalty is 72 hours in jail, a $600 fine, and 240 hours of community service. The maximum sentence could include 12 months and a $1,000 fine.

For third and subsequent DUI convictions within ten years, it becomes a high and aggravated misdemeanor, with a minimum of 15 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, 240 hours of community service, DUI school, substance abuse evaluation, and other judge-ordered penalties. The maximum DUI penalty is 12 months imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

Georgia DUI Hearings


If you cannot resolve your case at your first court appearance, the judge will likely schedule your case for a Calendar Call, motion hearings, and trial dates. In a Georgia DUI process, a motion hearing seeks a ruling on specific issues before the trial, such as the suppression of evidence. Suppressing evidence can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. 

You can demand a bench or jury trial for your DUI case. Each case is fact specific.  You will want to consult with your attorney about the strengths and weaknesses of your case to determine which type of trial is right for you.

DUI Court in Georgia


Because DUI convictions  include fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory alcohol treatment programs. You should hire a  Savannah DUI Lawyer to represent you throughout the court proceedings and guide you as the case progresses. It is essential to seek a DUI attorney’s free consultation and assistance.

Felony DUI Charges in Georgia

A DUI in Georgia can result in a felony conviction if it is the fourth DUI conviction since July 1, 2008. Any DUI arrests before this date are not counted towards this number, while all subsequent arrests get considered. 

First offense, second, or third DUI arrests are misdemeanor charges. Being convicted of a felony DUI can have severe Georgia DUI consequences, including lengthy prison sentences, substantial fines, and difficulties obtaining housing, credit, or employment. If facing a first offense or DUI conviction in Georgia and concerned about the possibility of a felony conviction, seeking legal assistance from a Savannah criminal defense attorney can be beneficial.

How Can Stacey M. Goad Help You in Your DUI Process in Georgia?


The Atlantic Law Firm, LLC can help clients navigate the DUI process. Our Savannah criminal law attorney understands the stress and uncertainty of a DUI charge in Georgia. As a former DUI prosecutor, she works tirelessly to protect your rights and can help attain a positive outcome for your case. 

Stacey M. Goad, our Georgia DUI attorney, will guide every legal process and step, including court appearances, administrative license suspension hearing hearings, and negotiations with prosecutors. With attention to aggressive and personalized attention representation, The Atlantic Law Firm, LLC provides you with legal support throughout separate legal processes of your Georgia DUI process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does DUI Process Take?

In Georgia, the duration of a first-time DUI case’s conclusion depends on various factors, such as the criminal case’s complexity, the availability of the driver services DUI attorney, the case court date, driving laws, and other factors. Typically, a first-time DUI case will take around two to six months.

What Is the DUI Process in GA?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense in Georgia.   You will need to appear for court at least once.  May DUI Defendants return to court several times for arraignment, pre-trial motions, scheduling dockets, calendar calls, and ultimately a jury trial docket. Being charged with a DUI in Georgia can be a daunting experience, with potentially severe consequences such as fines, Drivers license suspension, and even imprisonment. 

What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time in Georgia?

First time DUI offense is a misdemeanor. Minimum consequences for a first-time DUI in Georgia can lead to jail time and a suspension of your driver’s license.

Where Can I Find Information About the Laws in Georgia Regarding Drinking and Driving?

The Georgia drinking and driving laws are under the DUI GA OCGA 40-6-391. These laws underwent significant changes on July 1, 1997, impacting the OCGA DUI statute. One notable change was removing the previous provision allowing Georgia license holders to avoid suspension.