Question: I got charged with a DUI in Forsyth County, Georgia, and I want to know about my gun ownership rights. It's my first DUI charge ever. I've never even been arrested before and I've only gotten 3 traffic tickets in my life, and they were in the 1990's.
But I'm worried that if I have a DUI I have to give up my gun rights. I own a shotgun and two handguns. The pistols were gifts from my wife when I got out of the Army and returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Since I got charged with a DUI I'm concerned that my Second Amendment rights are now in danger.
I know that Forsyth is tough on drunk drivers but I didn't think I was that drunk. I was buzzed, but I thought a long way from drunk or intoxicated. I was driving home from doing some target shooting with a friend in the Cumming area. I got stopped because I wasn't driving in my lane. Basically I swerved because I was looking for my phone and then the cop saw me. The Forsyth deputy asked me where I was coming from and I told him and I said that I had about 4 beers. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything.
I refused those roadside tests but I took a blow test at the jail and I blew a .185. That's pretty high, I know that. I never would have driven if I thought that the reading would have been so high.
Please tell me if my gun rights will be taken from me and I have to surrender my weapons.
T.C. in Forsyth County
Answer: It sounds like your Second Amendment rights are secure and that you will be able to keep your guns. A first DUI charge is a misdemeanor, not a felony. As such, you can keep your weapons. A misdemeanor charge has no impact on an individual's right to carry a gun.
A fourth DUI within 10 years, however, is charged as a felony and therefore could impact your gun rights. Also, a DUI with a serious injury can be charged as a felony.
We answer many questions every week about gun rights and DUI. Luckily, most people do not have to worry about losing their weapons because of a DUI charge.
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