What Happens When You Get A DUI If You’re Under 21?

underage drinkingIt is possible to drink legally and safely – when you’re over 21. But if you’re under 21, or if you drink too much at any age, alcohol can be especially risky particularly if a teenager decides to get behind the wheel after drinking.

According to centurycounsil.org “Nearly 10 million youths, ages 12 to 20, in this country report they have consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. The rate of current alcohol consumption increases with increasing age according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2% at age 12 to 21% at age 16, and 55% at age 20.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving analyzed 2010 data from the FBI, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on deaths related to underage alcohol use. It estimates that 32% of these deaths were traffic fatalities.

So what happens to those kids who get a DUI when they’re under 21? It is illegal in many states for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. It’s also illegal to drink and drive. If you are charged with driving under the influence and you are under 21 years of age, the law applies special rules to your case. The blood alcohol content (BAC) level is not the same as a driver 21 years of age or older. The blood alcohol content required by the government to charge a driver under the age of 21 with DUI is lower than for a person over the age of 21.  The consequences are different as well for a driver under the age of 21.  A driver under 21 may be convicted of DUI if the driver’s BAC is .02 or more.

Here are some of the penalties of a DUI conviction if you’re under 21 years of age:

  • License suspension 6-12 months
  • Imprisonment not less than 10 days nor more than 12 months
  • Probation, 12 months less any time served in jail
  • Fine not less than $300 nor more than $1,000
  • Not less than 40 hours community service
  • Attend and complete Drug and Alcohol Risk Reduction School; (DUI school)Revocation of drivers licenses

Many states even have enacted zero tolerance laws. These laws make it legal for a police officer to arrest a minor for driving under the influence if any amount of alcohol is found in their blood stream by a breath, urine or blood test. There is no doubt law enforcement has been cracking down on drinking and driving particularly on those who are under 21. If you find yourself arrested for a DUI- under, or over 21- Call us… We win more DUI cases than any other law firm in the State of Georgia.

Posted in blood alcohol, DUI, DUI Arrest, legal limit, PURCHASING AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE BY A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 21, under 21 drinking | Leave a comment

“Day-After DUI’S” Are More Common than You Think

canstock1942576If you’re planning to go out with friends for a couple drinks and you want to be responsible, you might arrange for a designated driver or a taxi to ensure a safe ride home. But did you know you could still get yourself a DUI the next morning?

ABC conducted a local report on “The Hidden Dangers of Day-after DUIs” in 2012 and below is an interview of a woman who experienced a shocking wake-up call:

It was just after 8 a.m., and this woman, who wanted to tell her story without revealing her identity, was on her way to work. She went out the night before but she thought she’d done everything right. She says she had about six drinks, starting at 11 p.m. She left Jimbo’s about 2 o’clock in the morning, right at closing time, and did exactly what she thought she needed to do to be responsible: she called a designated driver to get her home. But here’s the science behind her getting in trouble: for someone her size, six drinks over three hours put her blood alcohol content at about .22. Through the night, that number came down a little every hour. “The important thing to remember is your body will naturally eliminate .02 alcohol volume from your body,” Sean Duncan of the California Highway Patrol said. Six hours passed between her last drink and 8 a.m., when she took off for work. That should knock her BAC down by .12, leaving it at .10. When a Clovis police officer pulled her over, that’s exactly what she blew into the breathalyzer. “I was shocked. I never thought that I would blow that considering I had slept, you know, normal hours the night before,” the woman told Action News.

Law enforcement is seeing a new trend on our roadways.  They call it day after DUIs.  It’s when people get arrested the day after drinking. Most people don’t know how much time it takes for their body to get rid of alcohol and may wake up with a slight hangover and believe they are sober. According to Healthguidance.org, Several factors can contribute to how long it takes for alcohol to leave the body.

“Weight can affect how long alcohol takes to leave your system, with the heavier individual generally sobering up more quickly as units of alcohol make up a smaller percentage of their body mass. Meanwhile though, thin people are likely to have a faster metabolism which would contribute to the alcohol leaving the system quicker. Your gender too can affect the amount of time alcohol stays in the blood with males generally being faster to get rid of it. Age too can play a role on your sobriety with those between the ages of 20-30 being the quickest to get the alcohol out of their blood stream.”

Experts say there are a lot of misconceptions about what can sober you up – such as coffee, a nap or a cold shower – but they say the only thing that can make you sober is time. Law enforcement is cracking down on “day-after DUIs”. Make sure you know your limit and allow your body to fully cycle out alcohol before getting behind the wheel the next morning.

If you’re arrested for a DUIallow our professional defense attorneys to protect you by giving us a call at 678-381-8062!

 

 

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The Emotional Impact of a DUI

embarrassedWhat will my family think?  Will I lose my job and license? Will it be in the newspaper?  Will I go to jail?

A person charged with a DUI is not just impacted by the financial burdens that a DUI can bring, but also affected by the emotional impact it carries into your life. A DUI charge can lead to a number of strong emotions, such as embarrassment, stress, anxiety, guilt, and depression. Let’s take a look at some normal emotions that may impact your life after a DUI arrest. 

Embarrassment

After being charged or convicted of a DUI, a person can feel embarrassment from having to go through the arrest and telling family members and friends. In many instances, you are required to tell your employer of the charge, especially if you drive a company vehicle or travel with clients. Many employers will terminate an employee for simply being arrested for DUI because companies will not be able to insure an employee convicted. This embarrassment can be very emotionally straining, since a DUI carries such a negative stigma. 

Fear

Another strong emotion one can feel is fear. Often times the people who are charged with a DUI are people who have never even received a ticket let alone been arrested! Many people fear the unknown, so it is important to hire a DUI defense attorney to help you take the appropriate steps in dealing with a DUI. 

Shock

Your initial reaction to being charged with a DUI is normally one of disbelief. You may deny the reality of the situation to shield yourself from the reality. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. Deny the urge to shut the world out and ignore reality. 

Depression

Finally, realizing the magnitude of the consequences of a DUI can cause depression. You may start reflecting on what you have done and how it will affect your family, employment, and future life, especially if you are the main financial provider. A DUI conviction can be the lowest point in an individual’s life.  

Loss of freedom

A six month to a year’s license suspension can turn your life upside down and leave you feeling helpless and frustrated. If your license is suspended, you no longer have reliable transportation for work or the errands you need to run without relying on the help of others. This dependency can have a negative emotional impact, causing you to feel a loss of freedom.

It takes just one bad judgment to be charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but the emotional consequences can impact individuals far into the future for both themselves and their families.

 

If you’re arrested for a DUIallow our professional defense attorneys to protect you by giving us a call at 678-381-8062!

Posted in blood alcohol, DUI, DUI Arrest, DUI emotions, job, legal limit, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Georgia’s Strict Under 21 Alcohol Related Charges Not Just for DUI

fake idMany Georgians are under the impression that getting caught drinking underage or providing false documentation in order to purchase alcohol are offenses with minor penalties. This is not the case.  According to Georgia law O.C.G.A. §§ 3-3-23, if you are under 21 years of age and live in Georgia, there are additional offenses besides under age DUI or speeding ticket violations that can cause a younger driver to lose his or her Georgia Driver’s License.

If you are under 21 and purchase an alcoholic beverage in Georgia, or even attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage, this can cause substantial damage to your record if you are charged and convicted. Possession of an alcoholic beverage if you are under 21 years of age AND driving in GA, and use of false information or misrepresentation when attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage can cause severe penalties, or driver’s license suspension if you are indeed convicted of any of these violations in Georgia.

The following is a breakdown of the under 21 – common alcohol-related charges (excluding DUI):

PURCHASING AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE BY A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 21 (Applicable Georgia laws: O.C.G.A. §§ 3-3-23(a)(2)(B); 40-5-57.1)

If you are under 21 years of age and you are charged with purchasing an alcoholic beverage, upon conviction you will face the following drivers license penalties:

•First Conviction – You will face a 6-month license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE will be treated as a CONVICTION AND WILL CAUSE YOUR LICENSE TO BE SUSPENDED.

•Second Conviction – You will face a 12-month license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE will be treated as a CONVICTION AND WILL CAUSE YOUR LICENSE TO BE SUSPENDED.

ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE BY A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 21 (Applicable Georgia laws: O.C.G.A. §§ 3-3-23.1(b)(3); 40-5-63)

If you are under 21 years of age and you are charged with attempting to purchase an alcoholic beverage, upon conviction you will face the following drivers license penalties:

•First Conviction – You will face a 6-month license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE may be accepted in the Court’s discretion, and this plea will not cause a license suspension.

•Second Conviction – You will face a 12-month license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE will be treated as a CONVICTION AND WILL CAUSE YOUR LICENSE TO BE SUSPENDED.

POSSESSION OF AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE BY A PERSON UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE (Applicable Georgia laws: O.C.G.A. §40-5-63(e))

If you are under 21 years of age and you are charged with possessing an alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle, upon conviction you will face the following driver’s license penalties:

•Upon conviction of this charge, you will face a 120-day license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE may be accepted in the Court’s discretion, and this plea will not cause a license suspension.

POSSESSION OF AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE BY A PERSON UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE (Applicable Georgia laws: O.C.G.A. §§ 3-3-23(a)(2); 3-3-23.1(f))

If you are under 21 years of age and you are charged with possessing an alcoholic beverage, upon conviction you will face the following drivers license penalties IF THE OFFENSE IS REPORTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DRIVER SERVICES:

•Upon conviction of this charge, you will face a 120-day license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE may be accepted in the Court’s discretion, and this plea will not cause a license suspension.

•If you are under 21 years of age and you are charged with possessing an alcoholic beverage and you were not operating a motor vehicle at the time of the offense, the offense should not be reported to the Department of Driver Services and, therefore, should not result in a license suspension.  However, if the charge is reported to the Department of Driver Services, the Department will presume that the offense was committed while in the operation of a motor vehicle and will suspend your license.

MISREPRESENTING AGE OR IDENTITY TO OBTAIN ALCOHOL, OR USING FALSE IDENTIFICATION TO PURCHASE ALCOHOL (Applicable Georgia laws: O.C.G.A. §§ 3-3-23(a)(3), 3-3-23(a)(5), and 40-5-57.1)

If you are misrepresenting your age or identity to obtain alcohol, or using false identification to purchase alcohol, upon conviction you will face the following drivers license penalties:

•First Conviction – You will face a 6-month license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE will be treated as a CONVICTION AND WILL CAUSE YOUR LICENSE TO BE SUSPENDED.

•Second Conviction – You will face a 12-month license suspension and there is NO LIMITED DRIVING PERMIT privilege during the period of suspension. SPECIAL NOTE: A plea of NOLO CONTENDERE will be treated as a CONVICTION AND WILL CAUSE YOUR LICENSE TO BE SUSPENDED.

DIVERSION PROGRAMS

In some Georgia jurisdictions, prosecutors can defer some of the offenses described above to diversion programs, which replace jail time with socially productive alternatives such as substance abuse awareness education and community service. A person who successfully completes a diversion program can usually have an arrest expunged from his or her criminal history, but an expungement will not wipe the slate completely clean. Government and law enforcement agencies have access to records of all arrests, regardless of expungement. Furthermore, a person must disclose his or her arrest record if prompted by school or job applications, even if the arrest has been expunged.

Have you been arrested for a DUI? Allow our professional defense attorneys to protect you by giving us a call at 678-381-8062!

Posted in diversion program, DUI, DUI Arrest, fake id, Field Sobriety Tests, GA law O.C.G.A 3-3-23, legal limit, PURCHASING AN ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE BY A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 21, Uncategorized, under 21 drinking | Leave a comment

DRINKING & DRIVING UNDER THE AGE OF 21? BE PREPARED FOR STRICTER PENALTIES

imagesCAW6A8EAIn Georgia, if you are under 21 and caught DUI (Driving Under the Influence), the laws that are applicable to drivers in this age group can leave you with very few options. The driving laws in Georgia are stricter and penalties tougher on a minor due to the inexperience and shorter driving record.

If you wind up convicted of first offense DUI and fall under one of these following three categories you will probably receive a 6 month license suspension with no limited driving permit:

  • Submittal to the state-administered chemical substance test and results show a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .02 grams and less than .08 grams.
  • No state-administered test of your blood, breath, or urine was requested. (Bear in mind refusal to  submit to a test could incur a 12 month license suspension, see 2 categories below)
  • The test results were suppressed by the trial court.

If the additional two categories below apply to under age 21 drivers convicted of DUI for a first time offense, the result is a 12 month license suspension:

  • Submittal to the state-administered chemical substance test and the blood alcohol concentration     (BAC) was .08 grams or more;
  • Refusal to submit to the state-administered chemical substances test.

If a defendant neither admits guilt nor declares innocence he is entering what is referred to as a Nolo Contendere plea. The defendant agrees that the court may consider him guilty for the purpose of finding him guilty and sentencing him. Often, an under 21 year old driver in Georgia may become misinformed and assume that a Nolo Contendere plea will save his or her driver’s license from being suspended if charged with DUI.  This is incorrect information, a Nolo Contendere plea will not save your drivers license from being suspended as a result of a DUI charge.

If you are under 21 years of age, the penalties for second and subsequent DUI charges for are the same as for people over the age of 21.  A GA DUI conviction for those less than 21 years of age can mean permanent damage to your driving record that could cause you problems if you apply for a job or attempt to obtain credit.

Georgia DUI Conviction When Under 21 Years Of Age:

  • Blood alcohol level of 0.02 grams is standard for DUI in an offender who is under 21.
  • Imprisonment not less than 10 days nor more than 12 months.
  • Judge may suspend all but 24 hours of imprisonment.
  • Probation, 12 months less any time served in jail.
  • Fine not less than $300 nor more than $1,000.
  • Not less than 40 hours community service.
  • Attend and complete Drug and Alcohol Risk Reduction School; (DUI School).
  • Revocation of drivers licenses, however after 6 months following the effective date of the revocation and subject to the examination requirements for obtaining a drivers license the individual my apply for their drivers license. If the blood alcohol level was 0.08 or more the revocation is for 12 months. A second or subsequent DUI the revocation is for 12 months. Must have completed the Drug and Alcohol Risk Reduction School, and pay a fine.

If you’re arrested for a DUI, allow our professional defense attorneys to protect you by giving us a call at 678-381-8062!

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How Long Does it Take for Alcohol to be Absorbed in the Body

A small portion of the alcohol you drink will start to be absorbed into your bloodstream through the lining of your esophagus and stomach before reaching your small intestine.

Because alcohol rushes past these membranes and ends up in the stomach in less than 1 minute, and this fleeting contact with these initial tissues is fairly short-lived, the total absorption of ethanol at these locations might be 5% or 10% of the total absorption of the ethanol you consume.

Another portion of the ethanol, from about 2% with an empty stomach up to 15% depending on how long it “circulates” within the stomach and is being digested there, can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the stomach membranes.

You should wait at least 2 hours after the last drink to start driving, SO LONG AS you feel no “buzz” at all. Otherwise, stay with your friends, get a hotel room, take a cab or find an alternative way home [e.g., Safe Ride, MARTA, hotel shuttle van].

If you’re arrested for a DUI, allow our professional defense attorneys to protect you by giving us a call at 678-381-8062!

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Effects of Alcohol on Men vs Women

Most people can only “burn off” an average of about 0.016 grams percent of ethanol (drinking alcohol) per hour. However, most men typically burn off more alcohol per hour than women.

A good rule of thumb is for a 110-pound female to consume no more than one standard drink per hour while a 190-pound male should be able to handle two standard drinks per hour.

For example, an 180-pound man will absorb about 0.021 of ethanol from a “standard” drink (such as a regular 12-ounce beer or a single “shot” of 80-proof liquor — 1.25 ounces) into his bloodstream.

If this same man, rapidly drinks 5 regular 12-ounce beers in one hour rest assured that when he starts driving, more than 4 of those beers are still circulating through the his bloodstream for a considerable additional period of time. This could produce a blood alcohol content of between 0.08 to 0.10, from a breath test or a blood draw taken when his alcohol level is still “peaking”.

Slow down the alcohol intake so that your body has adequate time to process the alcohol depending on your gender.

If you’re arrested for a DUI, allow our professional defense attorneys to protect you by giving us a call at 678-381-8062!

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