Georgia is a state with some of the harshest penalties for driving under the influence. If you have a teenage driver who has been charged with DUI, you may be concerned they will face severe punishment. The fact is, it is possible.
It’s normal to be nervous about what’s going to happen to your teen because there’s no way to know what will happen. Keep reading to learn more about your rights and options.
What Types of DUIs Can Your Teens be Charged With?
For adults in the state of Georgia, driving is illegal if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. For teens, though, the limit is much lower. In fact, it’s just 0.02 percent. It makes sense since people who are under the legal drinking age should not be drinking at all. If your child’s BAC was over the legal limit, they could be charged with something called DUI per se.
If your teen refuses to submit to a chemical test when requested by the police, they can still face this charge. The same applies to those who were under the influence of drugs. Since there’s no BAC record, the officers will determine the perceived level of impairment by looking for signs of intoxication. This is referred to as “DUI less safe.”
What to Do After Your Teen Is Charged with DUI
If your teen is charged with a DUI in Georgia, your first step should be to contact a lawyer. You need to have a legal expert to figure out if there is a case against your child before you worry too much. Sometimes, a lawyer can get the charge thrown out if they argue the following:
- The stop was not done properly
- The sobriety tests weren’t administered properly
- The sobriety tests weren’t accurate
- The evidence wasn’t handled properly
If it’s possible to have the case thrown out, your lawyer can try to fight a conviction. They will work to reduce the sentence in situations where this isn’t possible. In most cases, this isn’t something people can handle on their own. Because of this, it’s best to have an attorney helping you with each step of the legal process.
No matter what happens in the case, you should encourage your teen to listen to their attorney and take the advice they give them. Also, remind them to stay respectful through the court process and to always tell the truth. While this isn’t going to impact the facts of the situation or case, it’s important to remember that the judge is human, and the impression your child makes can impact sentencing.
If your child is convicted of DUI, make sure they pay their fines right away. It’s also important that they handle any community service order or other programs that are ordered by the court. Since a DUI will stay on a driver’s record for several years, it can impact their employment options and other parts of their lives.
Potential Penalties for Underage DUI Charges in Georgia
If your teen is facing a Georgia DUI conviction, there are a few potential penalties they will face. A DUI charge is considered a misdemeanor for first offenses, and the fine usually range from $300 to $1,000. The individual may also have to spend between 24 hours and 12 months in jail based on the circumstances of the situation. Your child may also be required to complete up to 20 hours of community service within 60 days of them being sentenced. The potential penalties are going to increase significantly as more DUI charges are made.
Hire an Attorney to Help with Your Teen’s DUI Charge
If your teen has been charged with a DUI, it’s important to hire an attorney as early in the process as you can. This is going to help ensure that they receive professional and expert representation for their case. It will also help ensure the consequences are reduced as much as possible.