Because drunk driving can be extremely dangerous to both the driver and other motorists or pedestrians on the road, it is illegal to drive in the U.S. with a blood alcohol level above .08 percent. Laws vary from state to state regarding penalties, so if you are in need of a DUI defense in Savannah, GA, it is best to work with someone who has experience with drunk driving defense.
While penalties for a first DUI charge can be difficult to recover from, the penalties only increase with each offense. Laws are different for people under 21 years old, so be aware that the focus here is on 21 and over. If the second offense is within five years of the first, there are numerous potential penalties and fines involved. Some are mandatory and others can be negotiated in court with the aid of a good attorney.
Mandatory penalties include a minimum of two days in jail, and a minimum 18 month suspension of your license, that may extend as long as three years. In some cases, a restricted license may be offered for those that require transportation to work, though this is at the discretion of the judge and is often secured only by a good defense attorney. There is a minimum $600 fine, as well as a $210 fine in order to have your driver’s license reinstated at the end of the suspension. Special classes are required, the offender is required to pay all associated fees, and often there is a mandatory 30 days of volunteer or community service.
Another possible penalty invoked at the discretion of the presiding judge is an interlock ignition device, which will not allow the car to be started until a breathalyzer test is conducted and the BAC reads zero. There is also the possibility of a jail sentence ranging from three months to a year. All of these penalties and fines are determined by a judge, but some factors that influence a judge’s decision include the BAC level at the time, how any sobriety tests were conducted, and if the offender had a suspended license prior to the arrest and charge.
A good defense attorney can help guide the judge into minimal fines and penalties, which is especially important when it is the second charge, as the penalties are worse. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or other crime, contact me, Dennis O’Brien with O’Brien Law Firm PC. I’m a DUI criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA with years of experience. I can provide a unique set of skills to your defense as I am also a former police officer, so I know the process of arresting and booking from an insider perspective.