4 Situations that Make a DUI Even More Serious
We all know that getting a DUI is bad. There are costs that are immediately felt and there are others that you feel over time. I talk about the minimum 1st DUI penalties here; 2nd DUI penalties here; and 3rd DUI penalties here. I also talk about the increased costs of insurance here. The state is attacking your reputation and livelihood and it make cost you time and a great deal of money if you are convicted for DUI.
There are 4 situations that make a DUI charge even worse, much worse.
1. A Blood Alcohol Content result over 0.16%
In Georgia, there isn’t a specific rule that makes the penalties more serious for a Blood Alcohol Content over a certain level. However, many judges and prosecutors make unwritten rules on how they will sentence DUI cases with certain facts. The legal limit in Georgia is a BAC of 0.08% or higher. If you have a BAC result of 0.16%, double the legal limit, the judge may sentence you more harshly than the minimums I discussed earlier. I have found that generally the higher the BAC, the harsher the sentence for a DUI conviction.
Every DUI case is different and every DUI client is different. If you get charged with a DUI and there was a high BAC result, I can help you. Give me a call at (770) 387-4529 for a free consultation!
2. Minor Passengers
If you are arrested for, DUI and you have a child passenger you will also probably be charged with child endangerment for each minor in the car. The penalties for child endangerment are:
- First conviction: 12 months jail and up to a $1,000 fine;
- Second conviction: 12 months jail and $1,000 – $5,000 fine;
- Third conviction: Felony up to 5 years in prison and a fine no less than $10,000.
This is on top of the sentence for a DUI conviction.
3. Wreck with injuries or fatalities
When there is a collision with injuries, the police will charge you with serious injury by vehicle. The sentence can range from 1-15 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
When there is a collision with a fatality, the police will charge you with homicide by vehicle. The sentence can range from 3-15 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.
In addition to the incarceration and fines, there will be a multi-year license suspension with no limited permit.
You also may face a civil lawsuit that could cost you thousands or millions of dollars.
Remember this is on top of the sentence for the DUI conviction.
4. Fourth DUI Conviction within 10 years
A 4th DUI conviction within 10 years in Georgia is a felony (but only convictions on or after 7/1/2008 are used).
The minimum sentence for a fourth DUI is 1 year jail all but 90 days can be on probation and a $1,000 fine. Judges are usually very harsh on a driver convicted for their fourth DUI. Additional minimum requirements are:
- 5 years probation;
- 60 hours of community service, that the judge can suspended if there is a prison sentence of at least 3 years;
- DUI School;
- Clinical substance abuse evaluation;
- 5 years license suspension (After 2 years you can apply for a probationary license); and
- You are declared a habitual violator.
Once classified as a habitual violator, any further felony conviction carries much harsher penalties that I will discuss in a future post.
Judges and prosecutors are typically not lenient when it comes to any DUI conviction. No judge or prosecutor wants to be blamed for letting a drunk get off too easy.