DUI Drugs in Georgia
Driving under the influence is not just limited to alcohol. You can also be charged with a DUI for driving while impaired by drugs whether they are illegal, prescription, or over the counter. There are a couple ways a driver can be charged with a Drug DUI in Georgia. If you have been charged with a DUI for Drugs, our Georgia Attorneys can help. We have over 50 combined years of experience with DUI defense.
DUI Less Safe
Similarly to a DUI less safe for alcohol, you could be charged with DUI less safe if you are under the influence of drugs and you are impaired to the extent that it is less safe for you to drive. O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(a)(2). Even if you refused to take the chemical test, it is still possible for the prosecution to charge and convict you of a DUI less safe.
When charged with a DUI Drugs less safe, the prosecutor does not have to prove that you had a certain level of drugs in your system. They can use evidence of impairment such as:
- Erratic driving
- Bloodshot eyes or dilated or constricted pupils
- Slurred speech
- Any admission of drug use
- Evidence of drugs in your vehicle
It is Not A Defense to Have a Legal Prescription for the Drug
Georgia law will still allow for a person to be convicted of DUI drugs even if they had a lawful prescription. However, the only way a person can be convicted of DUI Drugs is if they were deemed incapable of driving safely due to the drug that they had a prescription for.
DUI Combination of Drugs and Alcohol
O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(a)(4) deems it unlawful to be in control of a motor vehicle when the driver is under the combined influence of two or more substances that make it less safe for the person to drive.
An example of a combination DUI could be if Bob is stopped by an officer for drunk driving and the officer smells marijuana. Bob also has an open container of liquor in the seat. Bob could be charged with DUI less safe for alcohol, drugs, and combined alcohol and drugs. However, Bob could only be sentenced for one of the charges.
DUI Drug Penalties
DUI drug charges are generally misdemeanors, which carry a punishment of up to 12 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine in Georgia. A first conviction in 10 years will also include 12 months of probation, 40 hours of community service, DUI school, and a clinical drug and alcohol evaluation. You could also face a suspension of your driving privileges. A six-month driver's license suspension is very common in DUI Drug cases.
For a second DUI Drug conviction in 10 years, the minimum sentence will be 72 hours in jail, at least a $600 fine, probation for 12 months, 30 days of community service, DUI school, and a clinical drug and alcohol evaluation. Further, you will have a “hard suspension” of your license, which means that you will be unable to obtain even a limited work permit.
If you have been charged with DUI for drugs, you need the help of an experienced Georgia DUI Lawyer. Our office's expertise with DUI defense is unparalleled and we are ready to assist with your case now. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.