In the state of Georgia, anyone driving over the age of 21 with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). But what about underage drinkers? If you are under the age of 21 and you’ve been pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, you may be surprised to realize that your BAC threshold is much lower. In fact, minors only need a BAC of 0.02% to be charged with DUI.
Georgia has a strict underage drinking policy and anyone caught drinking under the age of 21 can face severe consequences. If you are caught driving with even a little alcohol in your system, you will face even more serious penalties. In fact, just one drink can raise your BAC to over 0.02%.
Penalties for Underage DUI
The penalties for DUI vary based on many factors. If you are underage and this is your first DUI offense, you may not face as harsh of penalties as someone who has been arrested for their second DUI offense. When you’re arrested for DUI and you are underage, this will count towards your total number of DUIs in the future. As such, it is important to understand the severity of these charges from the moment you are arrested.
- First Offense – Misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to $1000 in fines, from 24 hours to one year in jail, and minimum of 20 hours community service.
- Second Offense (within 10 years) – Misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to $1000 in fines, from 72 hours to 1 year in jail, and minimum of 30 days community service.
- Third Offense (within 10 years) – High and aggravated misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to $5000 fines, 15 days to 1 year in jail, and 30 days of community service.
- Fourth Offense (within 10 years) – High and aggravated misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to $5000 fines, 90 days to 5 years in jail, and 60 days of community service.
In addition to jail time, fines, and community service, underage DUI drivers can expect to lose their driver’s license for a minimum of 6 months with no work or school permit available to them. This can significantly affect your ability to maintain your job or continue your education. If you’ve had multiple offenses, you could lose your driver’s license for up to 5 years.
All DUI offenders, including underage drivers, are required by law to complete a “DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program”. In addition, they’re expected to submit to a clinical evaluation for drug and alcohol dependency.
Have You Been Arrested and Charged with DUI in Atlanta?
If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with a DUI in Atlanta, Georgia, it is important to know how severe the consequences can be. At Schnipper Law, P.C., our Atlanta DUI defense attorneys know that your entire future could be adversely affected by one DUI arrest. To fight these serious charges, you need experienced legal help quickly. Call Schnipper Law P.C., at (404) 545-5845 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you fight these charges and protect your driving record and your future.