Most people rely on their vehicles to get just about everywhere. If you are like most people, you probably drive to and from work, the grocery store, the doctor’s office, the bank and more. However, if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, you face severe penalties including driver’s license suspension, which could have a serious impact on your day-to-day life.

What are the penalties for driving under the influence?

Georgia has very severe drunk driving penalties. Your first driving under the influence (DUI) conviction could include a fine between $300 and $1,000, 40 hours of community service and possibly even up to a year in jail. You could also have your license suspended for up to a year and be required to pay a license reinstatement fee.

The penalties become even more severe if you have a previous DUI on your record. For example, the penalty for a second DWI offense includes a fine between $600 and $1,000, at least 30 days of community service, and between two days and year in jail. Additionally, your license could be suspended for three years.

Plan your ride home before drinking

Because the penalties for drunk driving can be so severe, it is important to plan a ride home before you start drinking. Consider the following options:

  • Use a ride-booking service, like Uber or Lyft. Download the app ahead of time, so you are prepared at the end of the night.
  • Catch a ride with a designated sober driver. Come to an agreement with this person before you go out for the night, so there is no confusion about who will not be drinking on that occasion.
  • Hail a cab. You can program the number for a local cab service into your phone before going out for the night, so it is accessible when you need it.
  • Utilize public transportation. Be sure to look up your route ahead of time, and pay attention to how late buses run on that route.
  • Hire someone to drive you in a limo. For special occasions, a limo service can make sure you get to and from your destination in style.

If you already face a DUI charge, it is important to take action right away to seek the best possible outcome in court. A good DUI defense strategy may help protect you’re your driver’s license, your insurance rates and your freedom.