Your teen had been dreaming about getting their driver’s license for years. You logged countless hours with them in the car preparing for their road test. They know the rules of the road forwards and backwards. Then they did something they swore to you they would never do — they got behind the wheel after drinking.
Georgia law takes driving under the influence by minors very seriously. Our state, like many others, has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking and driving. That means that anyone under 21 can face a DUI charge if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .02% or more.
If this is your child’s first DUI, and their BAC is anywhere from .02% to .08%, they can face the following penalties:
- License suspension of six months
- Fine of $300 to $1,000
- One day to 12 months in jail
- Twenty hours of community service
If they’re facing a first-time DUI and their BAC is determined to be above .08%, that license suspension increases to a year. They can also face up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine and 40 hours of community service. Of course, these penalties increase for second and subsequent offenses.
Beyond these penalties, your child will likely need to take a DUI class or participate in some sort of substance abuse program. You may have to get an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle before your child can drive again. You’ll be required to pay for these things.
A DUI can also impact your child’s ability to get in (or stay in) the college of their choice. It can affect their ability to get a scholarship and even to get a job.
A DUI should never be taken lightly. Even if your child had one beer and was unlucky enough to be pulled over because their taillight was out, if they were behind the wheel with alcohol in their system, it’s still a DUI. An experienced attorney can provide guidance, protect your child’s rights and work to mitigate the consequences on their — and your — life.