What are the Consequences of an Underage DUI in Georgia?

The state of Georgia is very strict in imposing penalties against those who drive while they are under the influence (DUI). This is because it is illegal for anyone to do so, especially those who are not legally able to drink in the first place. When a driver under the age of 21 receives a DUI charge, they can face serious consequences that can impact them for the rest of their life. It is because of this that they should retain the services of an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney for assistance with their case. 

Georgia Underage DUI Law

Generally, drivers can be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or more. For those underage the age of 21, the threshold is much lower. Because they are not legally allowed to drink to begin with, the BAC limit is dropped down to 0.02%. It does not matter if the driver is impaired, they can still be charged because it is illegal for them to drink at all. 

Penalties of an Underage DUI

The consequences that an underage driver may face for a DUI can vary depending on certain factors regarding their case. This includes if they have any prior DUI convictions. The penalties an individual may face in these situations can include the following:

  • First Offense: For a driver’s first DUI offense, this is a misdemeanor charge. This generally results in $300 to $1000 fines, 24 hours to 12 months in jail, and a minimum of 20 hours of community service. 
  • Second Offense: A second conviction within ten years of the first one can result in a misdemeanor charge as well. This can include penalties such as $600 to $1000 in fines, 72 hours to 12 months in jail, and at least 30 days of community service.
  • Third Offense: A third offense within a ten-year period is considered a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor. This can result in $1000 to $5000 in fines, 15 days to 12 months in jail, and at least 30 days of community service. 
  • Fourth Offense: A fourth conviction within ten years is usually a high and aggravated misdemeanor. However, if all three prior offenses took place on or after July 1, 2008, it is considered a felony. This can result in $1000 to $5000 fines, 90 days to five years imprisonment, and at least 60 days of community service.

License Penalties for Underage DUI Charges

Underage drivers convicted of a DUI can lose their driver’s license for a minimum of six months. This is with no school or work permit available to them. Suspensions for those with multiple offenses can last from 18 months to five years. 

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