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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.

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is very important to get in contact with an experienced DUI attorney. I help clients who are charged with DUIs avoid Jail and other penalties. Call me at (770) 387-4529 for a free consultation!DUI attorney Jesse Block