Is a DUI a Felony?

Posted by William H. Sherman on Oct 02, 2015 | 0 Comments

Question:    My wife was charged with drunk driving and she's really worried.  She's never been arrested before and she's embarrassed and afraid she'll lose her job if her work finds out about it.  She never gets in trouble and she's always telling our teenage daughter and son, who's in college, not to drink and drive.  She tells the kids that she doesn't even drink alcohol.

The DUI charge happened when she was driving back from Atlanta to our house in Sandy Springs.  She had a few drinks with a friend in Atlanta at a company party.  She said she didn't feel drunk at all, just a little buzzed.  So she drove home and got stopped in Dunwoody

She called me from her car and she was crying, but the police officer let her call me to pick up the car.  She did everything the cop wanted her to do.  Her breath test was .132.  I don't know why it was so high because she's not a big drinker at all; just an occasional wine for her.

I need to understand if this DUI is considered a felony.  We fear that a felony will be terrible for her life and career.  She can't have a felony, her boss said.

R.G. in Atlanta, GA

Answer:    A first DUI is rarely a felony.  The only time it would be a felony is if she was in an accident and someone suffered serious injury.  Other than that, a first DUI will not be charged as a felony under the laws of the state of Georgia.  It is a misdemeanor.

Under the law, besides causing a serious injury, a fourth DUI in 10 years is a felony.  But you wrote that this is a first DUI charge for her, so she should be charged with a misdemeanor not a felony.

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