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What out-of-state drivers need to know about Georgia’s DUI penalties

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving |

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia carries significant penalties, and being an out-of-state driver does not exempt you from these consequences.

Understanding the potential penalties and fines is essential for any non-resident driver who faces DUI charges in Georgia.

The penalties in Georgia

The penalties for a DUI in Georgia are severe and can impact your life in many ways. They include:

  • Fines: Fines range from $300 to $1,000 for a first DUI offense.
  • Jail time: A driver convicted of DUI for the first time can face 10 days to 12 months in jail. A court can waive or reduce this duration, but if the driver’s blood alcohol level during the offense was over .08%, they must undergo a mandatory 24-hour incarceration period.
  • Community service: On top of imprisonment, a court may also order you to complete at least 40 hours of community service for a first offense.
  • Probation: A first offense usually includes 12 months of probation minus any time served in jail.

If you live out of state, attending court and serving a jail sentence far from home may be troublesome.

The penalties back home

Normally, a state reports an out-of-state driver’s offense back to the driver’s home state. This allows the home state to treat the offense as if the driver had committed it back in their jurisdiction.

Georgia isn’t a part of the Driver License Compact that allows members to share traffic violation and license suspension information. However, your DUI conviction is still entered into the National Driver Register (NDR).

If you try to apply for or renew a license in your home state, the licensing state will check the NDR’s database. If it finds information that Georgia has revoked your license due to a DUI, the licensing state will block your application until you’ve resolved the issue or served your sentence with Georgia.

As an out-of-state driver, it’s vital to know your rights and responsibilities under Georgia law. Consulting with a local legal professional may be able to help mitigate these penalties and navigate the complexities of your case.