DUI Laws in Other States
Georgia borders five other states: Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and North and South Carolina. Each state has it's own laws when it comes to drinking and driving. When crossing the border, a DUI arrest will be different than if you were arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia. The same goes for DUI laws across the country, in all 50 states. DUI laws change all the time, so be sure to check with you local Atlanta DUI defense lawyer if you have any questions about DUI penalties.
DUI violations can involve both criminal and administrative penalties. This includes additional penalties for a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), administrative license suspension, limited driving privileges during suspension, ignition interlock devices (IID), vehicle impoundment, open container violations, repeat offender sanctions, and alcohol exclusion laws.
BAC refers to the amount of alcohol detected in the body. It is usually tested by police using a breath chemical test device, or testing a blood sample. The limits for per se intoxication have been standardized in all states for most drivers to 0.08 percent BAC. For underage drivers (under 21 years old), all states have adopted a zero-tolerance limit. However, different states treat “zero-tolerance” as a different number. As in Georgia, and most states, 0.02% BAC for an underage driver is a violation. In other states, they set the limit at 0.01%, with some states having anything above 0.0% as their limit.
Here, as in most states, there are enhanced penalties for a higher BAC level. In Georgia and most other states, a BAC of 0.15% or higher is an enhanced DUI. For other states, the limit is 0.16, 0.17, 0.18 or even as high as 0.20% BAC. Enhanced DUIs can trigger additional jail time, suspension time, or DUI school.
Administrative License Suspension
In Georgia, after a DUI arrest, a driver's license will be automatically suspended by the Georgia Department of Driver Services, unless a formal request for a hearing is made within 30 days. After a first DUI offense, a driver's license will be suspended for 1 full year. That is on the extreme end compared to other states. Some states, including Alabama, have a 90 day suspension for 1st DUI offenders, while in Kansas the suspension is only for 30 days, and a Virginia DUI will have a driver's license suspended for just one week. Some other states don't have administrative license suspensions.
Ignition Interlock Devices
An ignition interlock device is installed on a driver's car to make sure they breath sober breaths into the device to start the car. This is becoming an increasingly common penalty associated with a DUI. In Georgia, an IID is mandatory for repeat DUI offenders but first time offenders have the option to install an ignition interlock device install of requesting an administrative license hearing. However, in some states such as Arizona and Louisiana, an IID is mandatory for all convictions. In some cases, like South Carolina, it is only mandatory for a first DUI offense with a higher BAC of 0.15%. Where an IID is not mandatory, it is discretionary, as in Ohio or Vermont.
Different DUI Laws for Different States
Different states even call a drunk driving offense by different names. A DUI (driving under the influence) can also be called a DWI (driving while intoxicated), or even an OWI (operating while intoxicated). Here in Georgia, the state takes DUI cases seriously, and you should too. If you or a loved one have been arrested for driving under the influence in the Atlanta area, you need the courtroom experience of a local DUI defense lawyer who understands what a DUI can mean for your future. Call my office, anytime day or night, so we can fight all charges against you.