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Other Offenses Related to DUI in Georgia

Serious Driving Offense

There are serious driving offenses that can be associated with, or related to, a DUI. One of these offenses is vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide in the first degree is a felony. To convict for vehicular homicide in the first degree, the State has the burden of showing beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, as a consequence of driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol, caused the death of another person.

A DUI conviction is not enough—the death must be caused by the DUI. If a felony vehicular homicide was either committed by a habitual violator driver or committed in conjunction with a DUI, the conviction will result in 90% of any sentence being served.  Unlike first degree, second-degree vehicular homicide will not attach to a DUI and will be viewed as a misdemeanor. Note that multiple deaths in one accident can carry a separate sentence and conviction for each death.

Vehicular feticide occurs when in the operation of his automobile, the defendant causes the death of an unborn child.

Serious injury by vehicle is a felony and mandates a term of imprisonment not less than one year and no more than 15 years. Drivers charged with DUI who cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or a member thereof useless, can be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle.

Other Offenses

Drug offenses and DUI-Contraband may be prosecuted by the State even when a physician prescribes the drugs. Special rules apply to DUI-contraband cases involving illegal substances (marijuana, cocaine, heroine, etc.). The state is only required to prove that an illegal substance showed on the chemical test and does not need to show impairment caused by the illegal substance.

A “possession” offense may be committed by a person driving a car, or by a person not operating a car. However, a person driving a vehicle may face both the DUI-contraband offense AND the possession offense. For example, a test positive for cocaine can result in a felony prosecution for possessing cocaine (i.e., possessing it within your body). Also, a driver’s license can be suspended for possession of drugs even if the defendant was not driving when arrested. Possession statutes are generally felonies, except where small amounts of marijuana are involved.

If a license was suspended as a result of a DUI and the defendant continues to drive, they do so at the risk of being charged with driving on a suspended license. A first offense carries a charge of a simple misdemeanor, and a punishment of not less than 2 days nor more than six months of jail time, a fine not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, and automatic suspension of driver’s license for 6 months (from date of conviction) with no “work permit” available. If the suspended driver is ultimately determined to have been suspended, any suspension called for here is added on to other existing suspension period. A second offense for driving on a suspended license is a charge of a high an aggravated misdemeanor, and carries a term of imprisonment  not less than 10 days and no more than one year, a fine not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,500, and an automatic suspension of driver’s license for six months from date of conviction with no work permit available. If the suspended driver is ultimately determined to have been suspended, any suspension called for here is added on to other existing suspension periods.

Underage drinking while driving is a charge separate from DUI. This is a simple misdemeanor and mandates a 120-day driver’s license suspension with no permit available and no early reinstatement. Also, attendance to a Risk Reduction Program is mandatory. Juveniles under the age of 16 who have a first offense of DUI or possession of alcohol will have his or her license or driving privilege suspended until age 17 and will have to attend the Risk Reduction Program or court approved juvenile program and pay a reinstatement fee of $200.00 (mail-in) or $210.00 (walk-in). Juveniles under the age of 16 who have a second offense of DUI or possession of alcohol will have his or her license or driving privilege suspended until age 18 and will have to attend the Risk Reduction Program or court approved juvenile program and pay a reinstatement fee of $200.00 (mail-in) or $210.00 (walk-in).


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