Being arrested and charged with a DUI is a very scary situation. In Georgia, if you are convicted of a 2nd DUI within a 10 year period, you are facing much harsher punishments in court fines, probation, court conditions, and jail time.
CAUTION: Georgia's 10-Day Rule regarding your license:
By law you have only 10 business days from the date of your arrest to save your license! If you are charged with a DUI and refused to take a breath, blood or urine test, or if your test results indicated your blood-alcohol level was 0.08 or higher, you must request a special hearing with the Department of Public Safety in order to appeal your automatic license suspension.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is in your best interest to contact an Attorney who practices DUI Defense work - this will ensure that your rights are protected and your case is given the best evaluation possible. After you are arrested, you will be typically granted a bond rather quickly - certain situations, such as other agency holds or other charges, may delay this process
Second DUI Punishments
In Georgia, the minimum punishment on a 2nd DUI Conviction in 10 years is as follows:
- Fines from $600 to $1,000 (not including court costs)
- Jail time from 90 days to 1 year (A judge may suspend all but 72 hours.)
- 30 Days (240 hours) of Community Service at a non-profit charity
- Completion of an Alcohol and Drug evaluation with any recommended treatment
- Loss of license for 3 years (See info below regarding limited permits)
- Up to one year probation
- Misdemeanor Conviction
- Surrender license plate (Co-owner of car or family member may be granted hardship license plate.)
- Photo publication in local newspaper at your expense
Currently, Georgia law does not allow for record restriction or expungement of DUI convictions - meaning this conviction will likely stay on your record forever.
Second in Five Years DUI License Suspension
“What if this is my second DUI offense in 5 years? Can I get a driving permit?”
A person convicted of a second DUI in 5 years will face harsher license suspensions. Under the new law that went into affect January 1, 2013, you become eligible for a limited driving permit after a hard suspension of 120 days. To obtain this permit, you must present a certificate of eligibility from a DUI Court or Drug court program, or proof of enrollment in substance abuse treatment.
If the permit is approved, you must install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your car for eight (8) months. After the eight (8) months with the ignition interlock device, you may renew this permit for an additional six (6) months without the ignition interlock device.
You cannot obtain the ignition interlock permit to drive until you provide the following to DDS:
- Successfully completing Driver's Risk Reduction school
- Completing a clinical evaluation
- Proof of enrollment in an approved substance-abuse treatment program or DUI court or Drug court program
- Furnishing the Department of Driver Services (DDS) with completion forms
- Submitting an application for a limited driving permit
After a total suspension of 18 months, you will be eligible to have your full driving privileges reinstate. To reinstate after a 2nd in 5 DUI conviction, the following is required:
- Documentation of installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock for 8 months (Or an exemption order)
- Proof of completion of an approved substance-abuse treatment program
- Paying the reinstatement fee of:
- $200.00 (money order or cashier's check only) if by mail, or
- $210.00 if done in person at a full-service licensing facility.
Restrictions of Driving Permits:
The DDS may specify places you may travel to with a limited driving permit, specific routes of travel, times of travel, specific vehicles, or other restrictions. Typically, Limited Driving Permits may be obtained for:
- Going to your place of employment or performing the normal duties of your occupation
- Acquiring prescribed medical attention or obtaining prescribed drugs
- Attending classes at a college or other regularly attended school in which you are enrolled
- Attending a driver education or court-ordered assessment and treatment program
- Going to and from Ignition Interlock centers