Posted by Jim Yeargan in Atlanta DUI Law on April 5, 2015
Is a DUI a misdemeanor in Georgia? Yes, most of the time a DUI is a misdemeanor in Georgia. Misdemeanors in Georgia are punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 12 months in jail. However, for a first offense misdemeanor DUI in Georgia most people face:
- A fine of $300 plus court costs,
- 40 hours of community service,
- 24 hours in jail,
- DUI School,
- 12 months probation, and
- License suspension.
If someone is facing a second DUI conviction this punishment will be harsher. Even though most DUI arrests in Georgia are misdemeanors some DUI’s can be felonies.
Is A DUI A Misdemeanor? Not When It’s Your 4th Conviction In 10 Years
A 4th DUI conviction in a 10 year period is a felony. However, all 4 arrest dates must be after July 1, 2008. Any arrest dates before July 1, 2008 do not count toward the 4. For instance if someone was arrested for a DUI on May 1, 2008, and later convicted, this arrest does not count toward the 4 DUI convictions needed for a felony.
Is A DUI A Misdemeanor? Not If Someone Is “Seriously Injured.”
DUI Serious Injury by Vehicle is a felony. It is punishable with jail time between 1 and 15 years in prison. In order for someone to be charged with DUI Serious Injury by Vehicle they must “seriously” injure someone while they are driving drunk. The statute defines “serious” in jury with some vague terms such as “serious disfigurement,” or by rendering part of the body “useless.” The statute also provides more specific injuries such as organic brain damage, and loss of a body “member.”
To read the O.C.G.A. 40-6-394 Serious Injury By Vehicle statute follow this link.
Anyone convicted of DUI Serious Injury by Vehicle will also face a harsh license suspension of 3 years. This is a hard license suspension meaning there is no limited permit for work, school, etc.. Information on the license suspension may be found on the State of Georgia DDS web site located here.
Is A DUI A Misdemeanor? Not If Someone Is Killed
A DUI is a felony if you kill someone while driving drunk. This offense is punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison. Further, anyone convicted of this charge will have their driver’s license suspended for 3 years. This is also a hard suspension meaning there is no limited permit for work, school, etc.
The Vehicular Homicide statute O.C.G.A. 40-6-393 may be found at here.
Except in these instances, a DUI arrest is a misdemeanor in Georgia.