Georgia DUI Laws
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UPDATED: Jan 19, 2022
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A conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will have serious and far-reaching consequences for drivers. Each state considers driving a privilege, not a right.
Drivers take the chance of losing their license, spending time in jail, and paying thousands of dollars in fines if they are convicted of a DUI (Driving while under the influence).
According to statistics compiled by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) over 50% of accidents that happen on a weekend are due to drivers who are under the influence.
Basic Georgia DUI Laws
The Georgia DUI code states that drivers with a blood alcohol test result higher than the legal limit of .08 percent will have their license immediately suspended. This has been nicknamed the “stop and snatch” law.
Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of just .05 percent could be arrested if a police officer thinks they were driving dangerously.
Underage drivers are held to a “zero tolerance” BAC level of .02 percent. Georgia has an implied consent law, meaning that when a driver accepts their license, they are agreeing to be tested for alcohol or drug use if stopped by a police officer.
Refusing to undergo this test will cause more severe penalties for the driver if convicted.
Georgia DUI Penalties
As a first offender in the state of Georgia, a person’s license may be subject to a one-year suspension. A driver is allowed to apply for a permit, however, that will allow restricted driving for medical treatment, work, college, or a DUI Risk Reduction Program.
In addition, if the person completes driving school and pays a fee to reinstate their license, they can get an early reinstatement. For drivers who have had a second offense within five years, a three-year license suspension is given.
In addition, there is no permit allowed for commuting to work. Otherwise, second DUI offenders are allowed to attend a risk reduction program, pay a fee for reinstatement, and get their license back after four months.
If an individual has already had two or more DUI convictions and this is their third offense in 5 years, they will receive a five-year license suspension, with no work or other restricted-driving permit of any type.
After a two-year period, and a very stringent set of requirements detailed in Georgia’s vehicle code, a person can try for a probationary license which is much like a work permit license.
Alcohol or drug education and treatment are mandatory in all cases. For second and subsequent offenses, an individual may be required to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.
SR-22 Requirements In The State Of Georgia
The SR-22 form is required to document a driver’s proof of financial responsibility. This is a requirement of each state’s motor vehicle department, although there are a few states that do not require it.
The form confirms that the driver has auto liability insurance, which is required when a person has been convicted of a DUI or involved in an accident and could not show evidence of financial responsibility.
If a person is required to have an SR-22 in one state, moving to another state will not change that. The individual must still meet the SR-22 requirements of their former state, even though they no longer live there.
The state of Georgia requires drivers with a DUI or drug offense to keep an SR-22 in force for three years at a minimum. Georgia also requires an SR-22 for other violations, such as driving with out proof of insurance, or reckless driving.
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Effects Of A DUI On The Cost Of Car Insurance
Car insurance is an important issue for any driver who has been charged with an alcohol related offense. Insurance companies provide coverage based on calculations that look at many factors, including any blemishes on a driver’s record.
A DUI will cause many carriers to drop an insurance policy, and other car insurance companies will significantly increase a person’s rates.
Although many people are confused in terms of how to handle their insurance if they have a pending DUI case, as long as there is not a conviction, there is no obligation on the behalf of a driver to reveal their pending DUI case to their insurance company, since the U.S. has a judicial system that presumes innocence until proven guilty in court.
Georgia Car Insurance Companies For High-Risk Drivers
There are many brokers that will help find insurance for drivers who have been convicted of a DUI. It can be extremely challenging to find affordable car insurance after a conviction, however there are companies out there that focus primarily on high risk auto insurance coverage.
These companies can also help drivers file the required SR-22 form, and make the whole thing go as expediently as possible.
Many drivers think they will not be able to get car insurance if they have a restricted license, but this is untrue. It may be expensive, but it is possible and, in fact, law requires it.
It is important to work with a DUI attorney who will do their best to minimize or eliminate any consequences of the DUI conviction, as this could dramatically impact a person’s car insurance rates. Each state is different, but many will keep DUI information on a driving record for a period of 10 years.
Once that period is over, however, it will be as if the conviction never existed, at least where the insurance company is concerned. Some insurance companies may count a DUI conviction as less of a risk if an individual has a driving history that has been good otherwise.
Car insurance companies such as The General Auto Insurance Company specialize in covering high-risk drivers, and those who are required to file an SR-22 form. In fact, this company’s slogan is “The General Says Yes When Others Say No.”
This company claims their lower expense model allows them to be able to pass the savings on to drivers and make the premiums for a high-risk policy cheaper than they would be elsewhere.
A DUI is a very serious offense and one that will ultimately cost you a lot in car insurance premiums so always shop around and compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers.