In the State of Georgia, it has a zero tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21 who are charged with a Georgia DUI. Georgia Zero Tolerance laws make it a crime for drivers under 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% of higher. Because this limit is so much lower than for drivers who are of legal drinking age, an under 21 driver could potentially be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) after having a single drink. If you are under 21 DUI in Atlanta, Georgia, and have been charged with a DUI, you will need a Georgia DUI lawyer ASAP.
If an under age driver’s BAC is between .02% and .08%, he or she may be charged with an Under 21 DUI in Atlanta. However, if the driver’s BAC is .08% or higher, he or she could be charged with both a “standard” DUI and an Under 21 DUI.
The penalties for an Under 21 DUI could include a six-month driver’s license suspension in addition to community service. Underage drivers convicted of a standard DUI may be sentenced to a 12-month license suspension.
Insurance rates for underage drivers are already high; however, one your insurer learns of the Under 21 DUI on your driving record, your insurance premiums may go through the roof. You will also have a criminal record that could potentially affect employment and education opportunities.
In some cases, a DUI defense lawyer may negotiate with the prosecutors to reduce the Under 21 DUI to reckless driving. While this still carries a license suspension, a reckless driving charge does not carry the same consequences as a drunk-driving offense.
As a Former Prosecutor, we understand the Atlanta Georgia court system. The State will look for a harsh penalty even for the first offense. The Howard Law Group has successfully defended clients against their Under 21 charges. Fighting your DUI charge can do more than help you avoid penalties—you will also avoid a criminal record that can impact your future. Mr. Thomas offers affordable fees and payment plans and is available around the clock to answer questions and give advice.
To learn more about fighting your Under 21 DUI charges, and to receive a FREE consultation, please contact our law office or submit your contact information via our convenient online form today.