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What are the Offenses for a Second or Third DUI in Georgia?


Like many states, Georgia takes DUI cases very seriously. As such, even a first-time offender can face thousands of dollars in fines and up to one year in jail.

If you’re being accused of a second or third DUI, the penalties you could be facing increase dramatically, which is why it’s so important to hire a defense attorney that’s well versed in subsequent offenses.

How Georgia Defines a DUI

In order to be found guilty of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Georgia, you must have been

  • In control or driving a vehicle while also under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that it is “less than safe” for you to drive.


  • Your blood alcohol level is .08 or higher.


  • You have illegal drugs in your system.

Understanding Georgia’s “Look-Back Period”

Unlike some states, which take your entire driving history into consideration when determining if this is a subsequent DUI, Georgia has a “look-back period” for criminal penalties and driver’s license penalties.

In criminal court, the look-back period is 10 years. If you were convicted of a DUI in 2002 and then arrested for a DUI in 2015, the 2015 arrest would be considered your first DUI offense because it happened more than 10 years later.

For driver’s license penalties, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) uses a five-year look-back period.

A Second DUI Conviction

If convicted of a second DUI, you could face one or more of the below penalties:

  • Mandatory 72 hours spent in jail
  • Between 90 days - 12 months in jail, all of which can be done through probation (except for at least 72 hours that must be served)
  • Between 12 - 36 months of probation
  • Fines of between $600 - $1000, plus all applicable surcharges and court costs
  • 30 days or 240 hours of community service
  • DUI School
  • Driver's License Suspension
  • Installing of an ignition interlock device, after a "hard license suspension" of 120 days
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Mandatory substance abuse counseling

A Third DUI Conviction

In Georgia, a 3rd DUI conviction is typically still treated as a misdemeanor. However, it may be considered a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

If convicted of a third DUI, you could face one or more of the below penalties:

  • Mandatory 15 days in jail
  • Between 120 days and 12 months in jail
  • Between 12 and 36 months of probation
  • Fines ranging from $1000 to $5000, plus all court costs and surcharges
  • 30 days or 240 hours of community service
  • DUI School
  • Five years of a suspended license (with an interlock permit available after two years)
  • The surrender of your license plate
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment
  • Declaration of Habitual Violator Status
  • DUI Court (only certain jurisdictions have this program)

If you’re facing a second or third DUI offense, it’s crucial to act fast and get proper legal counsel. Contact Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum today at (404) 471-3177 so we can take immediate and effective action.

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