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Questions about drunk driving laws in Georgia

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

It is legal to drive after having a drink as long as the driver is able to safely operate their vehicle.

Police can stop any driver that is driving unsafely, erratically or in a way that makes the officer suspect intoxication.

Does the level of intoxication matter in a drunk driving arrest?

A blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher results in a DUI in Georgia. However, if a driver has a blood alcohol concentration lower than .08 but they are too impaired to drive safely, police may still charge them with a DUI.

When is drunk driving a felony?

DUI is a misdemeanor in Georgia, but drivers can face felony charges depending on the circumstances. If the driver caused an accident while driving under the influence, they may face felony charges. If the accident caused injuries or death, the charges and potential consequences become more severe. A driver can also face felony charges if they receive a fourth DUI in Georgia within 10 years.

Are drivers required to participate in field sobriety tests?

If a police officer asks you to complete field sobriety testing, you may decline and you do not have to give a reason why. Field sobriety tests are voluntary, not a legal obligation. An officer can arrest you without conducting field sobriety testing if they suspect you are driving under the influence. These roadside tests are tests of coordination. They are easy to fail even when completely sober when tired or if you have underlying health issues that affect your balance.

Georgia has an implied consent law regarding chemical tests. All licensed drivers in the state are bound by that law. You still have the right to refuse chemical testing, but if you the consequences include license suspension.