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10 Laws You Should Know If You're in Georgia

By Brett Snider, Esq. on November 01, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Georgia is home to Turner Field, Coca-Cola, and boiled peanuts. But the Empire State of the South also boasts a unique set of laws that governs everyday life in the state.

So whether you're settling down in Marietta or posting up in a penthouse suite next to your famous neighbor T.I., you need to at least get a handle on these 10 Georgia laws:

  1. DUI threshold. If you're driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above in Georgia, you're considered presumptively intoxicated. Under 21? That threshold drops to 0.02 percent.
  2. Using your cell phone while driving. Georgia attempted to ban texting while driving four years ago, but adult drivers can still use their phones without limit while driving.
  3. Getting a divorce. Georgia allows for "no-fault" divorce, so you don't need to catch your partner committing adultery to break it off. But at least one spouse must have resided in Georgia for at least six months.
  4. Marital property division. The Peach State doesn't recognize community property. That means, without an agreement like a prenup in place, a court may determine what is "fair" to distribute to each spouse upon divorce.
  5. Injuries: Who's at fault? Georgia has a form of modified comparative fault for establishing liability in injury cases. Unless the plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault, each party only pays for what percent fault he or she is assigned.
  6. Gambling. Georgia does not allow casinos, but its state lottery does allow many in-state students to go to Georgia's state universities for free.
  7. Will requirements. Georgia is somewhat unique in allowing testators who are 14 years of age to legally make a will, as opposed to the more common 18-year mark.
  8. Age of legal adulthood. Despite being able to make a will at 14, minors aren't considered legal adults until they turn 18.
  9. Statutes of limitations. Those wishing to sue in Georgia should be aware of the time limits on certain lawsuits. For example, you may have up to six years to sue over contract issues, but you must generally sue within one year for defamation.
  10. Gun laws. Georgia law prohibits most open carrying of a firearm without a permit, and weapons like sawed-off shotguns are just plain illegal.

If you want to learn more about what you can and can't do in Georgia, visit FindLaw's section on Georgia's laws.

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