A first-time driving under the influence (DUI) arrest may be terrifying. In many situations, the defendant has never been inside a police cruiser before, much less been to jail. The accused may not have even realized that he or she was impaired but is now facing devastating consequences, including jail time, the loss of driving privileges, and the stigma of a criminal record. It is a heavy price to pay for one mistake. If you are facing a first-time DUI charge, the law firm of Baker & Slider can help. Athens DUI lawyer Jason Slider has over a decade of experience handling drunk driving cases, first as an attorney for the State and now as a criminal defense lawyer. He is ready to assist you during this troubling time.Defending Against a First-Time DUI Charge
The Georgia Code states that any person who drives – or is in “physical control” of a moving vehicle – while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered a direct and immediate threat to the general public’s welfare and safety. Accordingly, any person who operates a vehicle in the state of Georgia is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test, or a test of his or her blood, breath, or urine, for the purpose of determining whether drugs or alcohol are present. This “implied consent” law applies during any DUI arrest, whether it is the defendant’s first time or fifth time, as long as law enforcement has reasonable grounds to believe that the defendant was either driving or in actual physical control of a moving motor vehicle. A refusal to consent to a test during a DUI arrest may lead to the suspension of the defendant’s driving privileges.
Under Georgia law, even a DUI first offender may face up to a year in jail, although sentences are typically much shorter. A fine of between $300 and $1,000 is also possible, as is a license suspension of up to a year, 40 hours of community service, and a $210 license reinstatement fee. A first DUI conviction may also cause the defendant to lose employment opportunities in the future and have higher automobile liability insurance premiums because he or she is now considered to be a high risk. (A substantial number of traffic accidents, some resulting in fatalities, happen because one or more drivers were under the influence.)
A DUI first offense conviction may result not only from a defendant’s consumption of alcohol but also from the defendant’s use of drugs, whether they are lawfully prescribed or illegal, glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapors. Georgia law specifically states that it is illegal to drive if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more at any time within three hours of driving, resulting from alcohol consumed before driving, but convictions are possible even without proof of this threshold BAC.Enlist a Dedicated Athens Lawyer for Your DUI Case
Not everyone who is arrested for driving under the influence is convicted. In many cases, there are defenses, such as a traffic stop that was unconstitutional or a lack of following the proper procudure in the proper administration of a Breathalyzer test, that may help the defendant defeat the DUI charge or at least reduce the charge to a less serious offense. Athens DUI attorney Jason Slider at the firm of Baker & Slider has handled many of these cases over the years. He can thoroughly investigate your situation to determine whether you were stopped legally, whether the police followed all applicable laws and rules in making the arrest, and whether the blood or breath test used by the State was requested and performed properly. If you are facing a first-time DUI charge, put one of the “Top 100 DUI Attorneys in the State of Georgia” (as named by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense organization) to work on your case. You can call (706) 208-1514 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation with a knowledgeable drunk driving lawyer. Baker & Slider represents defendants in Athens, Jefferson, Watkinsville, Danielsville, and other areas of Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, and surrounding counties.