DUI by Out-of-State Driver

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DUI by an Non-Georgia Driver

DUI is illegal in Georgia no matter where a person is from, or what state issued his or her driver’s license.  If someone is arrested for DUI in Georgia, for the most part he or she will face the same potential legal penalties that a Georgia resident would face.  The exception to this is the license suspension provision — see belowLegal penalties are based upon the number of prior offenses that person has on his/her record.  If you have prior offenses and have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, I’d urge you to consult my pages on DUI – Second Offense in 10 YearsDUI – Third Offense in 10 Years, and DUI – Fourth or Subsequent Offense in 10 Years.

Offense Classification Possible Penalty
1st DUI – Click here to learn more Misdemeanor 24 Hours to 12 Months of Jail Time

12 Months of Probation, less any time spent in jail

A Fine of $300 – $1000 plus surcharges

40 Hours of Community Service at a Non-Profit Entity 501(c)(3) Organization

DUI Risk Reduction Program (See here for a list of approved schools)

Clinical Evaluation and Completion of Treatment If Recommended

2nd DUI in 10 years – Click here to learn more Misdemeanor 72 hours to 12 months of jail time

12 months of probation, less any time spent in jail

A fine of $600 – $1,000 plus surcharges

240 hours of Community Service at a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

DUI Risk Reduction Program (See here for list of approved schools)

Clinical Evaluation and Completion of Treatment If Recommended

3rd DUI in 10 years – Click here to learn more High and Aggravated Misdemeanor 120 days to 12 months of jail time

12 months probation, less any time spent in jail

A fine of $1,000 – $5,000 plus surcharges

240 Hours of Community Service at a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

DUI Risk Reduction Program (See here for a list of approved schools)

Clinical Evaluation and Completion of Treatment If Recommended

4th or Subsequent DUI in 10 years – Click here to learn more Felony At least 90 days but not more than 5 years in jail or prison

5 Years of Probation, less any time spent in jail

A fine of $1,000 – $5,000 plus surcharges

At least 60 days of Community Service at a Non-Profit Entity 501(c)(3) Organization

DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (See here for list of approved schools)

Clinical Evaluation and Completion of Treatment If Recommended

Georgia cannot suspend an out-of-state license.

Georgia only has the authority to suspend licenses from the state of Georgia.  That is not to say that your home state cannot impose sanctions based on your Georgia DUI, but only that Georgia lacks the authority to suspend a non-Georgia license.  Georgia can, however, suspend or revoke a person’s privilege to drive in Georgia based upon a Georgia DUI.

The Georgia Implied Consent Warning is designed to inform drivers suspected of DUI of their right to refuse state-administered chemical testing.  The Implied Consent warning expressly states:

“If you refuse this testing, your Georgia driver’s license or privilege to drive on the highways of this state will be suspended for a minimum period of one year.”

Officers usually have the entire warning on a card, which they read to drivers suspected of DUI.  If an officer reads the Implied Consent warning verbatim, Georgia courts have held that this is sufficient information to give a non-Georgia driver notice that Georgia cannot suspend his/her license.  This is despite the fact that officers frequently read this very quickly and it often blurs together in people’s minds.

If, however, an officer makes extraneous statements aside from the verbatim reading of the Implied Consent Warning, and these statements give a non-Georgia licensee incorrect information about whether Georgia can suspend a non-Georgia license, a court may find that any subsequent consent to testing was not voluntary.  If this occurs, the results of any subsequent test would be suppressed from evidence and the State would be barred from using the results at trial.

Why should a non-Georgia resident hire an attorney for a Georgia DUI case?

Even though Georgia cannot directly suspend a non-resident’s license, you should not assume that the case is not serious.  Non-Georgia residents can still face severe consequences, including jail time, probation, steep fines, and community service requirements.  In addition to that, your home state may impose license penalties for your Georgia DUI.  And traveling back and forth for court can be expensive and time-consuming, requiring days off work and away from family.  A Georgia DUI Defense Lawyer may be able to take care of some of your court dates for you, potentially avoiding some travel time and inconvenience.  You need a lawyer who will fight for you.  Call me today.