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More than luck needed to get out of a DUI

With St. Patrick's Day on a Friday this year, many people -- Irish and non-Irish alike -- are expected to be out celebrating with green beer, Irish whiskey and the like.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety made it clear that drunk drivers would get no second chances this St. Patrick's Day weekend. "If you are impaired to where you shouldn't be driving, you are going to jail," a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol told reporters.

And those charged with drunk driving will need a lot more than Irish luck on their side to avoid the most serious consequences of a DUI.

In Georgia, even a first-time DUI can result in:

  • A fine between $300 and $1,000
  • 24 hours in jail
  • 40 hours of community service
  • Probation time
  • One-year driver's license suspension

A second or third DUI conviction can result in even harsher consequences, including up to a year in jail and driver's license suspension for up to three years.

More than two DUI convictions within five years mean you are considered a habitual violator and it can be very difficult to ever get your driving privileges back.

You can accept the consequences or defend your rights

Everyone has the opportunity to plead guilty to a DUI and take the consequences in effort to move on as quickly as possible. But the consequences of a DUI won't go away anytime soon. They can affect your life for years to come.

In order to reach the best outcome possible in your case, it is vital to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can analyze the situation for all possible defense strategies and mitigating factors.

For example:

  • Was the traffic stop lawful?
  • Was proper field sobriety test protocol followed?
  • Was there a problem with the breath or blood testing device?
  • Was the breath or blood test administered properly?
  • Do you have a medical condition that should be considered?
  • Was this your first time getting in trouble with the law?

One thing we all know about holidays notorious for drinking -- such as New Year's Eve, Halloween and St. Patrick's Day -- is that police tend to arrest as many drivers as possible, sometimes without proper cause or without following legal protocol.

In many cases, it takes a lawyer to determine if you do, in fact, have a valid defense in your case. While the evidence might not lead to a pot of gold, it could lead to the charges being dropped or lessened, which is just as valuable.

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