Drug and Alcohol Laws in the State of Georgia
It’s always important to know the law. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, that’s especially true. Georgia has their own specific set of laws, and breaking them can have severe consequences.
Below you can find details of drug and alcohol laws in Georgia. Read on to keep your legal knowledge up to date.
DUI Laws in Georgia
In Georgia it’s against the law to drive if you’re intoxicated because of drugs or alcohol. You can be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence). Specifically, the law says you can’t drive a vehicle if:
- You have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
- It’s a commercial vehicle, and you have a BAC of 0.04% or more.
- You’re under 21 and have a BAC of 0.02% or more.
- You’re under the influence of alcohol or any drug.
- You have any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in your blood or urine.
Zero Tolerance Laws for Georgia
As you can see from the DUI laws, Georgia is a zero-tolerance state. That means if you’re underage, you cannot drive with a BAC of more than 0.02%. That’s so low that drinking even a little alcohol and driving could get you arrested.
Is Marijuana Legal in Georgia
For the most part, marijuana is illegal in Georgia. Using it recreationally can result in fines and even jail time depending on the amount and jurisdiction. In a few cities like Atlanta and Savannah, having less than an ounce of marijuana is “decriminalized,” which just means you’ll receive a fine instead of being criminally prosecuted.
Georgia also has a limited medical marijuana law that allows the use of cannabis oil with less than 5% THC. You have to have a card that shows you are registered and authorized to use the oil because you have one of the approved diseases.
Drug and Alcohol Related Crimes
In Georgia there are a lot of different crimes related to drugs like:
- Possession of illegal drugs: Georgia has a long list of controlled substances. Some of these are illegal without a doctor’s prescription, and some you can’t have at all.
- Manufacturing illegal drugs: One of the most serious crimes involving drugs is making them. You cannot chemically produce illegal drugs or grow plants like the opium poppy or coca plant that are used to make drugs.
- Distribution of illegal drugs: You cannot sell or distribute any of the drugs Georgia lists as “controlled” without approval by the government.
- Driving under the influence of illegal drugs (DUI): When you use any drug, it impairs your ability to drive a car. Doing so endangers others and is its own specific crime.
It’s important to note that Georgia has legal immunity for those who seek treatment for an overdose. If you or a loved one needs help because they’ve overdosed, don’t be afraid to go to the hospital.
Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse in Georgia
Breaking Georgia’s drug or alcohol laws can result in strict punishments depending on the crime:
DUI Penalties in Georgia
Georgia punishes those who drive under the influence. This includes fines and jail time. For your first DUI, you can expect:
- 10 days to 12 months of jail time
- $300-$1000 fine
- Minimum 20 hours of community service
- Your license suspended for a year
If you get more DUIs or if there were children in the car, these penalties go up.
Zero Tolerance Penalties in Georgia
If you’re under 21, you can get a DUI in Georgia for driving with a BAC of 0.02% or more. The penalties are similar to regular DUIs with up to a year of jail time and a $1,000 fine for your first offense. If you’re under 15 years old, your license will also be suspended until you’re 17.
Cannabis Penalties in Georgia
You can’t use marijuana recreationally in Georgia. Possession, sale and cultivation all have different punishments that depend on the amount. If you have less than an ounce, it’s a misdemeanor that comes with up to a year of jail time and a $1,000 fine. If you have more than an ounce, that’s a felony with 1-10 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
Selling or growing marijuana comes with even stricter punishments. For example, selling more than 10,000 lbs can result in 15-30 years in jail and a $1,000,000 fine.
Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Georgia
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse, you probably know all too well the legal problems that go along with it. Now’s the time to make a change. Call your nearest treatment center today to learn about your options.
- Georgia Department of Public Health. (2019, April 25). Low THC Oil – FAQ for General Public
- Georgia Online Driver Education Course | Georgia DUI Laws & Penalties. (n.d.)
- Nolo. (2010, July 7). Georgia Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties
- The State of Georgia. (n.d.). Georgia State Code, Title 16. Crimes and Offenses, Chapter 13. Controlled Substances, Article 1. General Provisions
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