Multiple DUI convictions carry severe consequences in Georgia

As anyone who has faced charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia is well aware, the possible penalties for any resulting conviction are quite harsh. Indeed, a Georgia DUI conviction may involve various punishments ranging from jail time and fines to long-term license suspensions and insurance rate increases. Additionally, the consequences related to DUIs become increasingly severe with each subsequent offense.

For example, the penalties associated with DUI convictions in Georgia may include:

  • First DUI Conviction: A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $300 to $1000, jail time of 24 hours to one year, a minimum of 40 hours of community service, required participation in a DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program and 12 months probation (less any days spent in jail).
  • Second DUI conviction within 10 years: A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $600 to $1000, jail time of 72 hours to one year, a minimum of 30 days of community service, required participation in a DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program and 12 months probation (less any days spent in jail).
  • Third DUI conviction within 10 years: A high and aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1000 to $5000, jail time of 15 days to one year, a minimum of 30 days of community service, required participation in a DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program and 12 months probation (less any days spent in jail).
  • Fourth DUI conviction within 10 years: A felony, punishable by a fine of $1000 to $5000, jail time of 90 days to five years, a minimum of 60 days of community service (which may be suspended if the driver serves at least three years in jail), required participation in a DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program and five years probation (less any days spent in jail).

Moreover, anyone convicted of a DUI in Georgia risks losing his or her license for a significant period of time. For instance, a first-time DUI offender will have his or her license suspended for 12 months, although he or she can seek a reinstatement after 120 days if he or she completes a DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program and pays a restoration fee.

However, following a second DUI conviction within five years, the license suspension period increases from a year to eighteen months. With court approval, after four months, a limited permit may be obtained with the installation of an ignition interlock device and enrollment in a clinical program or drug court. After 8 months, the ignition device may be removed, but the license remains a limited permit. A driver may seek reinstatement after 18 months. The driver is required to complete the DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program and pay the required restoration fee.

Ultimately, Georgia DUI laws - and their related penalties - can be difficult to navigate, which is why it is always best to speak with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney if facing criminal drunk driving charges. An experienced attorney can help review the circumstances of your arrest and explain your rights and options.

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