Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
A DUI arrest can be a very stressful and humiliating experience. You are left wondering how this is going to impact your driver’s license, your job and if you will have to serve time in jail. It is important to immediately contact an experienced DUI attorney in Atlanta to help guide you through this confusing time.
Fast action is necessary to start working towards saving your driver’s license from suspension. In Georgia, you only have ten business days from the day of your arrest to appeal an administrative license suspension. This is a civil infraction and separate from your criminal DUI charges.
Georgia DUI penalties are severe, and often result in jail time and a license suspension. The state prosecutor will often seek harsh punishments without consideration for your circumstances, job and family responsibilities.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with any DUI offense in Atlanta, or any of the surrounding areas in Georgia, including Roswell, Smyrna, Lawrenceville or Marietta, contact Benjamin Von Schuch, Attorney at Law. Your case needs the attention of a skilled DUI defense attorney that knows the law and how the legal system works. Having the right attorney can make the difference in receiving a favorable outcome in your case.
Attorney Benjamin Von Schuch is a former prosecutor and has the unique perspective of understanding how a case is being prepared against you and what defenses are successful. Call our firm today for a free consultation at (678) 948-7811 about your alleged DUI offense.
Atlanta DUI Information Center
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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Georgia
According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391, an individual is prohibited from driving or being in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while:
- Under the influence of alcohol to the extent it is less safe for the person to drive;
- Under the influence of drugs to the extent it is less safe for the person to drive;
- Under the influence of any glue aerosol or other toxic vapor to the extent it is less safe for the person to drive;
- Under the combination of any alcohol or drug to the extent it is less safe for the person to drive
- The alcohol concentration level is .08 grams or more up to three hours after driving; or
- There is any amount of marijuana or controlled substance presents in the driver’s blood or urine, regardless if alcohol was present or not.
Some of the most common DUI offenses and matters related to driving under the influence can include, but are not limited to the DUI 10 day rule, first DUI, second DUI, Juvenile DUI, DUI from drugs, DUI with property damage, DUI testing, implied consent, DUI testing refusal and DUI license suspensions.
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Atlanta Actual Physical Control (APC)
An individual must have actual physical control (APC) of a vehicle when arrested for drinking and driving in order to be charged with DUI in Georgia. This element is required regardless if the individual has an alcohol concentration level over the legal limit or they are impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol to the point where it is less safe for them to drive.
Actual physical control of a vehicle is often defined as being in the vehicle, having the ability to operate the vehicle, the vehicle was capable of being operated and the alleged offender had possession of the key or it was readily accessible. An individual does not have to actually drive the vehicle to be charged with a DUI in Georgia; they merely have to have the ability to drive the car.
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Georgia’s Legal Alcohol Concentration Limit
Georgia’s legal limit is a blood-alcohol level of .08%. This is the absolutely maximum amount of alcohol by volume an individual can have in their blood while being in actual physical control of a vehicle. If an individual has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher in Georgia, they will automatically be charged with DUI. This is called per se DUI, which means no matter the reason or how sober or capable the driver seems, if their BAC is .08 or higher, the law enforcement officer will arrest the driver for DUI.
However, a driver can still be charged with a drinking and driving offense in Georgia if their BAC is under the legal limit. If they consumed enough alcohol or drugs to make them less safe to drive, they can still be charged with a DUI.
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DUI Offenses in Georgia
Serious offenses that can result from a driving under the influence offense in Georgia can include, but is not limited to, and of the following:
- Endangering a Child by DUI – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(l) – An individual can be charged with this offense if they transport a child under the age of 14 in a motor vehicle while committing a DUI offense. This offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor offense.
- DUI Serious Injury by Vehicle – O.C.G.A. § 40-6-394 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they cause bodily harm to another person while committing a driving under the influence offense. This offense is punishable by a felony.
- DUI with Homicide by Vehicle - O.C.G.A. § 40-6-393 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they cause the death of another person without malice aforethought by committing a driving under the influence of alcohol offense. This offense is homicide by vehicle in the first degree and can result in mandatory prison sentences.
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Penalties for DUI Convictions in Georgia
Penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia can be very severe and involve various types of punishment, including, but not limited to any of the following:
These punishments can vary depending on the number of prior DUI convictions an individual may have, whether the DUI offense involved death or serious bodily injury to another person, whether the DUI offense involved damage to another person’s property, and the level of the individual’s BAC at the time of their arrest.
A first offense is typically punishable as a misdemeanor offense, which can result in a fine between $300 and $1,000, 10 days to 12 months imprisonment, 40 hours of community service, DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, probation and/or a clinical evaluation.
A second offense is typically punishable as a misdemeanor offense, which can result in a fine between $600 and $1,000, 90 days to 12 months imprisonment, 30 days of community service, DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, probation and/or a clinical evaluation.
A third offense is typically punishable as a high and aggravated Misdemeanor, which can result in a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, 120 days to 12 months imprisonment, 30 days of community service, DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, probation and/or a clinical evaluation.
A fourth or subsequent offense is typically punishable as a felony, which can result in a fine between $1,000 and $5,000, one year to five years imprisonment, 60 days of community service, DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, probation and/or a clinical evaluation.
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Resources for Driving Under the Influence in Atlanta
Georgia Code – This link is to section 391 of chapter six of title 40 of the Georgia Code. This section defines the elements to DUI offenses in Georgia and the penalties for a conviction for DUI.
Fulton County Clerk of Superior Court – This link is to the Fulton County courts website. Fulton County serves the cities of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Palmetto, Fairburn and College Park. This site provides information on the courts in Fulton County, including the Superior Court, Probate Court, Juvenile Court, State Court and Municipal Courts, in addition to resources about the court and how to access the courts. The Clerk of Superior Court is located at:
Lewis R. Slayton Courthouse
136 Pryor Street 30303
Phone: (404) 613-5313
Fulton County Sheriff’s Department – The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department is a law enforcement agency that protects the citizens of Fulton County by enforcing sex offender registration, preventing crime and monitoring inmates and the jail system in Fulton County. The Sheriff’s Department is located at:
Fulton County Sheriff’s Department
185 Central Ave. S. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Phone: (404) 612-5100
Georgia Department of Public Safety – The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) mission is to provide a safe environment for residents and visitors of Georgia by enforcing traffic laws, investigating traffic crashes, and supporting the efforts of public safety agencies to reduce crime. The DPS headquarters can be contacted at:
Georgia Department of Public Safety
P.O. Box 1456
Atlanta, Georgia 30371
Phone: (404) 624-7000
Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent accidents resulting from drunk driving, to stop individuals from engaging in drinking and driving, and to provide support to those involved in a alcohol related accident.
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Benjamin Von Schuch, Attorney at Law | Fulton County DUI Arrest Lawyer
Contact Benjamin Von Schuch, Attorney at Law today for a consultation about your drinking and driving offense throughout Fulton County in Georgia. Benjamin Von Schuch is an experienced Atlanta criminal defense lawyer can help you defend your DUI charges and get your life back on track. He will make every effort to find defenses or mitigating factors to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. If a trial is in your best interest, he will make every effort to prepare a winning trial strategy for your particular case.
Call (678) 948-7811 for a consultation about your alleged DUI offense throughout Fulton County in Georgia and the surrounding counties of Cobb County, DeKalb County, Clayton County and Gwinnett County.