A DUI conviction in Georgia can carry serious legal consequences, even for a first offense. A convicted drunk driver could have his or her license suspended, the individual could be sentenced to serve time behind bars, and the individual could be required to pay a hefty fine.
No one should have to face legal or social penalties for an offense they did not commit. However, there are instances when Athens residents are wrongfully arrested and charged with criminal offenses such as drunk driving.
Last week, a student newspaper for the University of Georgia reported that one of the university's students had been arrested at a local bar after police suspected that the student was drinking underage. Had the student only been charged with underage possession of alcohol, his arrest might not have caught the university's attention. However, the student could have some big amends to make with school officials as a result of the circumstances of his arrest.
As we mentioned earlier this summer on our Athens, Georgia, DUI law blog, boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense. Although the penalties for BUI are similar to the penalties folks face when they are convicted of DUI, there are some key differences between the two criminal offenses in Georgia.
A 30-year-old woman was arrested last week because she had difficulty balancing while walking heel to toe in a straight line for officers who had asked the woman to take a field sobriety test. An Athens-Clarke County Police report states that officers had reason to suspect that the woman had been driving under the influence of drugs.
When a driver is suspected of driving drunk, police will most likely ask the driver to take a breath test. As we mentioned last week, drivers could face a 12-month license suspension in Georgia for refusing to provide a breath test because of implied consent laws.
Over the Fourth of July holiday, a cast member who appeared on MTV's reality show '16 & Pregnant' was arrested for DUI after Georgia police suspected that the 23-year-old man had been driving while under the influence of drugs. Reports have not indicated whether he had submitted or refused a drug test after his arrest.
Earlier last week, the full police report for Jamal Anderson's DUI arrest, a former running back for the Atlanta Falcons, had not yet been available. It had only been reported that the 39-year-old was arrested and charged with DUI in Georgia after driving too slowly and impeding traffic on June 24.
Georgia residents might feel confident that one or two drinks will not impair their ability to safely operate a vehicle or boat. But with extra patrols on the roads and waters this Fourth of July holiday, it would be wise not to take any chances of getting pulled over for drunk driving or stopped for boating under the influence of alcohol. DUI charges can result in serious consequences even when DUI charges never result in a conviction.