What are the DUI Penalties in Georgia?

DUI Penalties Page.002The penalties that could be imposed for your first, second, third or more DUI convictions are significant. What is not obvious at first is that the extent of those penalties may vary depending upon which county you are arrested in. Other variables include your age, type of license and the circumstances of your arrest.

The penalties may also vary depending on the quality of the defense attorney you retain. Selecting the best attorney for your defense will have a meaningful impact on the outcome of your case.

Here is a guide for understanding the basic penalties for the consequences you may be facing if you are convicted of a DUI in Georgia.

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What if this is my first arrest?DUI Penalties Page.003

  • There will often be a fine that can be as low as $300.00 but often is closer to $600.00 or more. The court will add on surcharges, which often will result in the base fine amount being doubled. Typically you will have the opportunity to pay off the fine over the course of 6 months.
  • You will be required to perform at least 40 hours of community service at a non-profit organization of your choosing.
  • You will also be required to be on supervised probation for at least 12 months. If you live a far distance from court, you may be permitted to report by telephone.
  • Your license will be suspended for at least 120 days. However, if you are a Georgia license holder, you should be eligible for a limited permit that will allow you to drive to and from work.
  • You will have to submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation with a licensed professional. Any treatment that the counselor recommends will be incorporated into your sentence and attendance at future treatment sessions will be mandated.
  • You will have to enroll and complete DUI School (often referred to as Risk Reduction).
  • You may be asked to attend a Victim Impact Panel through MADD.

What is the punishment for a second DUI within 5 years in Georgia?DUI Penalties Page.004

  • The fine will range between $600.00 to $1000.00 plus court costs.
  • You will be required to perform at least 240 hours of community service at a non-profit organization of your choosing.
  • You will be on probation for at least 12 months.
  • Your license will be suspended for 120 days with no eligibility for a limited work permit. However, after 120 days, if you are enrolled in a qualified treatment program you will be eligible for a limited work permit so long as an Ignition Interlock Device is installed in your vehicle.
  • You will have to surrender the tags (license plates) of any and all vehicles in your name.
  • You will have to complete an intensive treatment program (at least a 17-week treatment).
  • You will have to serve at least 3 days in custody, but most jurisdictions require far more jail time and/or enrollment in DUI Court (rigorous court-supervised addiction treatment program).
  • You will have to attend and complete DUI School.
  • Your photo will be published in the local paper.

What if this is my second arrest but the first arrest was more than 5 years ago?

  • The fine can be anywhere between $300 and $1000.
  • You will be required to perform at least 40 hours of community service.
  • At least 12 months probation.
  • License suspension of at least 120 days – with work permit eligibility for Georgia license holders.
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation.
  • DUI School.
  • In addition to the above-mentioned terms, it is likely that the prosecutor will ask for enhanced jail time, community service and probation.

DUI Penalties Page.005What is the punishment for a third DUI within 5 years?

  • At minimum you will be required to serve 15 days in jail, but many jurisdictions require far more jail time.
  • The fine can range between $1000.00 and $5000.00 plus surcharges.
  • 240 hours of community service.
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation.
  • DUI School.
  • 5-year license revocation, with eligibility for a limited work permit after two years.
  • Surrender all tags on vehicles that are registered in your name.
  • Publication of your photo in the local paper.

The extent and severity of the penalties you may ultimately face cannot be fully appreciated without speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia DUI attorney. Practically speaking, there is a somewhat shocking disparity of sentencing practices that can vary based upon county, prosecutor, judge and defense attorney. Selecting the right attorney who has intimate knowledge of those practices is critical to ensuring an optimal result in your case.

For a consultation to review your pending charges contact my office by calling 404-771-6675 or filling out the request form on this page.