Most people picture the typical arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) as occurring on a public road such as a highway, on a neighborhood street, or as the result of a DUI checkpoint. In fact, some states do differentiate between driving under the influence while on private property versus public property.
In Georgia, there is no distinction between intoxicated driving while on private or public property. Simply because you are on your own or another person's private property does not exempt you from a possible DUI charge. If you have been arrested for DUI, an experienced Cherokee County DUI attorney can fight for you.
Georgia DUI Law
Georgia's driving laws for DUI apply to all vehicles within the state, whether that driving occurs on private or public property. The language of the statute which applies states that drunk driving is prohibited on "highways and elsewhere throughout the state."
Georgia makes this even clearer by stating "All persons operating vehicles on said roads, streets, and common areas shall be subject to all state and local traffic laws and regulations the same as if said private roads and streets were public roads and streets."
From this language it is clear, you can be arrested for and charged with DUI on private property in Georgia.
Where Could This Happen?
It is one thing to know the law, but knowing how it actually affects you is important. Even after being told that DUI laws apply to private property, many think that their particular situation is an exception because of where they were. This is simply untrue. You could be arrested for DUI while driving:
- On your residential property (i.e. in your driveway)
- On a golf course, either in your car or a golf cart
- Sidewalks (Public or Private)
- On a bicycle in a private parking lot
- On a boat while on public or private property
- On an all-terrain vehicle on a friend's wooded property (even when not driving on roads)
A DUI arrest may arise from a variety of places and in a variety of vehicles you may not otherwise consider. Claiming that you were on private property, even if true, is not a valid defense to a charge of DUI in Georgia.
Penalties You Could Face
Georgia DUI can result for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, illicit or prescription. If you are driving a vehicle in Georgia with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher you can be arrested and charged. You may also be charged with DUI if a law enforcement officer determines you are driving "less safe" because of the influence of illegal or prescription drugs.
How severe the penalty is for your DUI arrest depends on whether this is your first offense or if you have prior DUI offenses. A first time arrest can be frightening and confusing, while a second or third DUI charge comes with penalties that could include high fines, loss of your license for five years, or even substantial jail time.
It is important for drivers to realize that Georgia DUI laws apply both on the roads and on private property. If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, you need an exceptional Georgia DUI attorney in your corner. Contact us today for a free consultation.