Underage DUI in Georgia

Underage DUI in Georgia

Although it is against the law for anyone under 21 years of age to consume, purchase, or otherwise possess alcohol, high school and college students throughout the country engage in underage drinking. Unfortunately, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of death among teenagers and young adults, which is why many states have enacted specific DUI laws affecting underage drivers. 

In Georgia, a driver who is at least 21 years old can be charged with a DUI for driving or being in actual control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher within three hours. On the other hand, a driver who is under 21 can face DUI charges for operating a vehicle with a BAC level of at least .02 percent, which can occur after one beer, a shot of liquor, or a glass of wine. 

There are two types of underage DUIs in Georgia: a DUI “per se” charge and a DUI-less-safe charge. If an underage driver has a BAC of at least .02 percent, he/she can be charged with DUI per se. If an underage driver refusing chemical testing after an arrest or is impaired by only drugs, he/she can be charged with DUI-less-than-safe. 

The following are the penalties for an underage DUI in Georgia: 

  • First offense – A misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of up to $1,000, a maximum jail term of 12 months, and a minimum of 20 hours of community service. 

  • Second offense – A second DUI conviction within 10 years is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, a maximum jail sentence of 12 months, and a minimum of 30 days of community service. 

  • Third offense – A third DUI conviction within 10 years is a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $5,000, a maximum jail term of 12 months, and a minimum 30 days of community service. 

  • Fourth offense – A fourth DUI conviction within 10 years is a felony, punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, imprisonment for up to five years, and a minimum of 60 days of community service. 

A conviction also results in driver’s license suspension. A first offense carries license suspension for at least six months, while suspension for multiple convictions ranges from 18 months to five years. All DUI offenders must also participate in a “DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.” 

If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI in Hinesville or Hinesville, call Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC at (866) 580-3089 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Our legal team has more than 40 years of collective experience!