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Substances subject to DUI charges in Georgia

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | DUI |

Driving under the influence involves more than just alcohol. Many substances can impair your ability to operate a vehicle. Getting behind the wheel after drinking or taking certain medications or drugs not only endangers others on the road but also puts you at risk for a DUI charge.

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia can be severe and may include fines, license suspension, mandatory DUI education programs, community service, and even jail time, especially for repeat offenders. Understanding the substances included under state DUI laws can help you prioritize safe and responsible driving.


One of the most common substances associated with DUIs is alcohol. In 2020, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 24% of Georgia’s total traffic fatalities.

Drivers who are 21 years old or older can face a DUI charge if their blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. For drivers under 21, the legal limit is much lower at 0.02%.

Prescription drugs

Using prescription drugs without a valid prescription or taking them in a manner not prescribed by a doctor can also result in a DUI charge. Follow the instructions given by your healthcare provider. Verify that it is still safe to drive while taking your medication.

Illegal drugs

Driving under the influence of illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin is against the law in Georgia. Even if a drug is legal in another state or for medicinal purposes, state law still prohibits you from driving with such substances in your system.

Over-the-counter medications

While over-the-counter medications are legal to purchase, some have side effects that can interfere with your ability to drive safely and therefore, can lead to a DUI charge. Read warning labels and avoid driving if a medication causes drowsiness or other impairments.

Substance combinations

Mixing substances, such as alcohol and prescription drugs, can increase impairment and the risk of a DUI charge. Make sure you understand how different substances can interact with each other and affect driving ability.

Safety is the top priority when it comes to driving. Taking any substances that make you a less safe driver can have severe consequences including legal repercussions for you.