If you have been arrested for a DUI in Georgia, experienced DUI trial attorneys James “Skip” Sullivan and Bob Chestney are available to discuss your case anytime – including after-hours and weekends! Call us at 404.816.8777 (office), Mr. Sullivan’s mobile phone: 404.290.2151 (call or text), or email at Skip@dui-lawyer.com.
If you are facing a new Georgia DUI charge and have been convicted for a DUI within the past 5 or 10 years, the statutory penalty is more severe than a first lifetime DUI conviction.
Just about every year, a bill is introduced in the Georgia General Assembly to toughen Georgia DUI laws. Because of this, the Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm monitors proposed legislation and has given input from time to time to legislative committees regarding proposed legislation. However, even with our best efforts, it seems that new DUI laws are constantly being passed and are getting tougher and tougher.
If you are charged with a second DUI within the past five years, you will see that statutory DUI penalties drastically increase. In addition, your driver’s license will be impacted much more severely than from a conviction of a first in five years DUI conviction. Below reflects the current status of Georgia’s DUI law. Please note that the statutory criminal penalty enhancement looks back ten years in time for prior arrests that resulted in DUI convictions, not five.
SECOND DUI CONVICTION WITHIN TEN YEARS:
*Measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained
- Jail time: 90 days – 12 months in jail, of which the judge can probate (suspend) all but 72 hours;
- Probation: 12 months probation minus any jail time served (by law, this probationary time period cannot be shortened);
- Fine: $600 – $1000 plus statutorily mandated surcharges, assessments, and probation supervision fees;
- Community Service: 30 days (240 hours – 250 hours);
- DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program: (www.dds.ga.gov/DUI/SchoolMatrix.aspx);
- Clinical evaluation for substance abuse: Required by statute and Georgia DBHDD regulations (judge has no discretion to waive). Must follow and complete any recommended treatment. (List of approved evaluators at:https://dbhddapps.dbhdd.ga.gov/MOPAS/ProviderSearch/SearchDUIIPProvider.aspx);
Additional requirements for drivers convicted for a second DUI offense within 5 years:
- Photo and Case Disposition Published: published as a legal notice in the county legal organ where the defendant resides or in the county legal organ where a conviction was obtained ($25 assessed);
- License Plates Confiscated: all license plates on vehicles registered to the offender are to be surrendered to the court (by court order) and a receipt issued. A license plate will only be reissued after a permit is issued or suspension is over (there is a possible hardship exception for other household members/co-owner of the vehicle);
- Ignition Interlock Device (see below);
- License suspension (see license suspension section below)
Additional requirements for drivers convicted for a second or more DUI offense within 5 years (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):
- Photo and Case Disposition Published: published as a legal notice in the county legal organ where the defendant resides or in the county legal organ where the conviction was obtained if the defendant is a nonresident ($25 assessed);
- License Plates Confiscated: all license plates on vehicles registered to the offender are to be surrendered to the court (by court order) and a receipt issued. A license plate will only be reissued after a permit is issued or suspension is over (there is a possible hardship exception for other household members/co-owner of a vehicle);
- Ignition Interlock Device (see below);
- Declared a Habitual Violator (for a third in five-year conviction measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained).
LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR GEORGIA DUI ALCOHOL CONVICTIONS:
*NOTE: Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) has new documentation requirements to get an I.D., license, or permit. Also, DDS is now allowing payment of reinstatement fees online. Please visit www.dds.ga.gov/secureid/index.aspx to find out what documents you will need to bring with you to DDS.
Listed below are license suspension penalties for Georgia drivers excluding CDL or other classes of Georgia licenses for DUI alcohol offenses. Additional or harsher penalties may apply to CDL or other classes of Georgia licenses that are not listed below. Additional or harsher suspensions may be imposed as a result of other criminal charges associated with the DUI case. Different suspension penalties may also be imposed as a result of a DUI Drug conviction pursuant to OCGA §40-5-63, §40-5-75; §40-5-76 (permit for Drug Court participants if not convicted for DUI drug charge, but convicted of a drug charge); as well as from any judgment resulting from a Georgia administrative license suspension action. Out-of-state drivers are NOT ELIGIBLE for a limited permit in Georgia unless they obtain a valid Georgia license prior to sentencing. Out-of-state licensees may also face penalties not only from Georgia but from the licensee’s home state as a result of a Georgia conviction for DUI or an administrative license suspension action – even if the out-of-state driver obtains a Georgia driver’s license prior to sentencing.
License Suspension (second offense within 5 years) (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of the current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):
- All drivers (including under 21 drivers): 3 years, with no limited permit for at least 120 days for Georgia licensees. Reinstatement after 18 months if ignition interlock installation requirements are met or the court issues an order waiving the Ignition Interlock requirement, successful completion of a clinical evaluation and treatment program – if treatment recommended, completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Program, and payment of restoration fee ($300 by mail/internet, $310 in person). If a court issues an order waiving the Ignition Interlock requirement, Georgia licensees are NOT eligible for a limited permit for the first 12 months of the suspension, after which he/she would be eligible for issuance of a limited driving permit without the interlock restriction for the balance of the suspension;
- Georgia licensees: may apply for an Ignition Interlock Device permit after 120 days of a hard suspension through the Georgia Department of Driver Services, provided proof is shown that the driver completed a DUI Risk Reduction Program, completed a clinical evaluation, and is enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Georgia Department of Human Services or is enrolled in a DUI/drug court program, and installed an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that he or she may be operating. List of Approved Interlock Service Providers: www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/interlock.aspx;
- Clinical Evaluation: Required to undergo a clinical evaluation and complete a substance abuse treatment program if recommended in order to be eligible for license reinstatement after the statutory minimum suspension period: https://dbhddapps.dbhdd.ga.gov/MOPAS/ProviderSearch/SearchDUIIPProvider.aspx;
- DUI Risk Reduction Program: mandatory to be eligible for a limited permit for a Georgia licensee after a minimum 120-day license suspension period and for reinstatement of Georgia license: (List of approved schools: www.dds.ga.gov/DUI/SchoolMatrix.aspx);
- Ignition Interlock Device: required to be installed for eligibility for a limited permit for Georgia licensees after 120 days;
- Ignition Interlock Device Permit: The ignition Interlock Device permit may be available under the following conditions:
- Application for a permit no sooner than serving 120 days of the suspension required from the DUI conviction;
- Must provide a certificate of eligibility from a DUI/Drug Court program in the court where convicted or proof of enrollment in a minimum 120-day clinical treatment approved by the state;
- DUI Risk Reduction program must be completed by the time of application for Ignition Interlock permit;
- Sentencing Court must approve permit (if not approved, no permit);
- Ignition Interlock Permit is required for the following based upon the incident date:
- Incident date: July 1, 2001, to December 31, 2012 – 6 month interlock requirement.
- Incident date: January 1, 2013, to June 30, 2013 – 8 month interlock requirement.
- Incident date: July 1, 2013, or after – 12-month interlock requirement.
If there is successful ignition interlock monitoring for the above applicable period of time, then the ignition interlock device may be removed and the permit may be renewed for additional periods of two-month increments;
- An Ignition Interlock Device permit is NOT available during the period of an administrative suspension arising out of a refusal to submit to the state’s chemical test or a 2nd in 5 years per se administrative suspension.
Restrictions of Ignition Interlock Device Permit:
When you receive an ignition interlock permit, you are restricted to driving solely for the following purposes:
- Going to his or her place of employment;
- Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;
- Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of treatment support organizations for persons who have an addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the (DDS) commissioner;
- Going for monthly monitoring visits with the permit holder’s ignition interlock device service provider; and
- Such other restrictions as the department (DDS) may require;
- The permit is valid for the prescribed period above. If successful monitoring for the prescribed period, the permit may be renewed without ignition interlock under general DUI limited permit conditions;
- Cost of permit: $25 (renewal of the permit is $5);
List of Approved Ignition Interlock Service Providers: (www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/interlock.aspx)
- Ignition interlock devices MUST be installed in Georgia.
- Ignition Interlock waiver eligibility:
The trial court can waive the ignition interlock requirement if the court determines that it would impose a financial hardship on the driver. If the driver opts to have the ignition interlock requirement waived, the driver is not eligible for a 6 month permit until after the first year of the suspension.
Additional special conditions for under 16 drivers:
No license until age 18. Driver must submit proof of completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program or an assessment and intervention program approved by the juvenile court and payment of a reinstatement fee ($300 by mail/internet, $310 in person) to the Department of Driver Services.