Georgia DUI Penalties

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; Bob@dui-lawyer.com

If you have been charged with a DUI anywhere in Georgia, it is important to know that there are mandatory Georgia DUI penalties for DUI convictions under the Georgia Code, which are set forth below. The mandatory minimum penalties represent the absolute minimum requirements under Georgia law.  Judges can sentence you anywhere from the minimum penalty under the Georgia Statute all the way up to the maximum penalty.  For any general misdemeanor, including DUI, the maximum penalty could be up to 12 months in jail for each offense charged.  Judges also have discretion to add special probation conditions not listed below.  Additional penalties outside what is listed below may be imposed for DUI cases with other criminal charges.  In our experience, any sentence imposed typically exceeds the mandatory minimum penalty.  Contact Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm today at 404.816.8777.  A Georgia DUI trial lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case.

FIRST DUI CONVICTION WITHIN TEN YEARS: (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):

*        Jail time: 10 days in jail of which the judge can suspend, stay, or probate all but 24 hours for offenses with alcohol concentration .08 or more.  There is no statutory minimum jail sentence where the State can’t prove alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.  Maximum is 12 months in jail;

*        Probation: 12 months probation minus any jail time served (by law, this probationary time period cannot be shortened);

*        Fine: $300-$1000 plus statutory mandated surcharges, assessments, and probation supervision fees;

*        Community Service:

*        21 & over drivers: 40 hours – 250 hours;

*        under 21 drivers with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more: 40 hours – 250 hours;

*        Under 21 with alcohol concentration under .08: 20 hours – 250 hours;

*        DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program: Must be completed within 120 days of sentence (List of approved schools at: https://dds.georgia.gov/certified-dui-schools-locations);

*        Clinical evaluation for substance abuse: follow any recommended treatment (judge has discretion to waive clinical evaluation): (List of       approved evaluators  at: https://gaduiintervention.dbhdd.ga.gov/ProviderSearch/SearchDUIIPProvider.aspx);

*        License suspension (see license suspension section below).

SECOND  DUI CONVICTION WITHIN TEN YEARS: (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):

*        Jail time: 90 days – 12 months in jail, of which the judge can probate 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 statutory mandated surcharges, assessments and probation supervision fees;

*        Community Service: 30 days (240 hours – 250 hours);

*        DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program: Must be completed within 120 days of sentence (https://dds.georgia.gov/certified-dui-schools-locations);

*        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://gaduiintervention.dbhdd.ga.gov/Home.aspx);

*        Additional requirements for drivers convicted for a second DUI offense within 5 years:

*        Photo and Case Disposition Published: published as legal notice in county legal organ where defendant resides or in county legal organ where 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 vehicle);

*        Ignition Interlock Device (see below);

*        License suspension (see license suspension section below).

 

THIRD DUI CONVICTION WITHIN TEN YEARS: (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):

*        Jail time: 120 days – 12 months in jail, of which the judge can probate all but 15 days;

*        Probation: 12 months probation minus any jail time served (by law, this probationary time period cannot be shortened);

*        Fine: $1000 – $5000 plus statutory mandated surcharges, assessments and probation supervision fees;

*        Community Service: 30 days (240 hours – 250 hours);

*        DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program: Must be completed within 120 days of sentence (List of approved schools at: https://dds.georgia.gov/certified-dui-schools-locations);

*        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://gaduiintervention.dbhdd.ga.gov/ProviderSearch/SearchDUIIPProvider.aspx);

*        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 current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):

*        Photo and Case Disposition Published: published as legal notice in county legal organ where defendant resides or in county legal organ where conviction was obtained if 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 vehicle);

*        Ignition Interlock Device (see below);

*        Declared a Habitual Violator (for third in five year conviction measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a conviction is obtained).

FOURTH OR SUBSEQUENT DUI CONVICTION WITHIN TEN YEARS: (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):

*        Felony if all four or more DUI arrests resulting in DUI convictions occur after July 1, 2008

*        Jail time: 1- 5 years in jail, of which the judge can probate all but 90 days;

*        Probation: 5 years probation minus any jail time served;

*        Fine: $1000 – $5000 plus statutory mandated surcharges, assessments and probation supervision fees;

*        Community Service: 60 days (480 – 500 hours)(can be suspended by judge if incarceration is for 3 or more years);

*        Misdemeanor (High and Aggravated) only if NOT all four or more DUI arrests resulting in DUI convictions occur after July 1, 2008

*        Jail time: 120 days – 12 months in jail, of which the judge can waive or suspend all but 15 days;

*        Probation: 12 months probation minus any jail time served (by law, this probationary time period cannot be shortened);

*        Fine: $1000 – $5000 plus statutory mandated surcharges, assessments and probation supervision fees;

*        Community Service: 30 days (240 hours – 250 hours);

*        DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program: Must be completed within 120 days of sentence (List of approved schools at: https://dds.georgia.gov/certified-dui-schools-locations);

*        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://gaduiintervention.dbhdd.ga.gov/ProviderSearch/SearchDUIIPProvider.aspx);

*        License suspension (see license suspension section below);

*        Additional requirements for drivers convicted for a second or more DUI offense within 5 years:

*        Photo and Case Disposition Published: published as legal notice in county legal organ where defendant resides or in county legal organ where conviction was obtained if 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 vehicle);

*        Ignition Interlock Device installed (see below);

*        Declared a Habitual Violator (for a third in five year conviction measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained);

*        Possible Seizure and Forfeiture of Motor Vehicle: If already declared a Habitual Violator for 3 prior DUI convictions and arrested and convicted for new DUI.

LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR 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 https://dds.georgia.gov/secure-id-faqs 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); as well as from any judgment resulting from a Georgia administrative license suspension actionOut-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 (first DUI conviction within 5 years):

*        21 & over drivers: 12 months suspension, possible immediate limited permit for Georgia licensees and possible early license reinstatement after 120 days upon completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and payment of reinstatement fee ($200 by mail/internet, $210 in person);

*        Under 21 drivers with alcohol concentration of .08 or more: 12 months suspension with no limited permit, completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and payment of restoration fee ($200 by mail/internet, $210 in person);

*        Under 21 drivers with alcohol concentration under .08 or “refusal”: 6 months suspension with no limited permit, completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and payment of restoration fee ($200 by mail/internet, $210 in person);

*        Additional penalties for under 16 drivers:

Not eligible for license until age 17.  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 ($200 by mail/internet, $210 in person) to the Department of Driver Services;

  • 21 & over Drivers: second DUI conviction in 10 years (first in 5) suspension: 12 months suspension, possible immediate limited permit for Georgia licensees and possible early license reinstatement after 120 days upon completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, required clinical evaluation for substance abuse and completion of any recommended treatment program, and payment of restoration fee ($200 by mail/internet, $210 in person);
  • Restrictions of Limited Permit: (for Georgia licensees who qualify):
    1. Going to his or her place of employment;
    2. Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs;
    3. Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;
    4. Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addition or abuse problems related to alcohol or drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner;
    5. Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in suspension of his or her driver’s license by the (DDS) commissioner;
    6. Attending court, reporting to a probation office or officer, or performing community service; or
    7. Transporting an immediate family member who does not hold a valid driver’s license for work, medical care, or prescriptions or to school.

*        License Suspension (second DUI conviction within 5 years) (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of 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 court issues 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 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 hard suspension through 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 operatingList of Approved Interlock Service Providers: https://online.dds.ga.gov/ddsgeorgiagov/locations/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 statutory minimum suspension period https://gaduiintervention.dbhdd.ga.gov/ProviderSearch/SearchDUIIPProvider.aspx;

*        DUI Risk Reduction Program: mandatory to be eligible for a limited permit for a Georgia licensee after minimum 120 day license suspension period and for reinstatement of Georgia license: (List of approved schools: https://dds.georgia.gov/certified-dui-schools-locations);

*        Ignition Interlock Device: required to be installed for eligibility for limited permit for Georgia licensees after 120 days;

Ignition Interlock Device Permit: Ignition Interlock Device permit may be available under the following conditions:

  1. Application for permit no sooner than serving 120 days of the suspension required from the DUI conviction;
  2. Must either provide certificate of eligibility from a DUI/Drug Court program in the court where convicted or proof of enrollment in minimum 120 day clinical treatment approved by the state;
  3. DUI Risk Reduction program must be completed by time of application for Ignition Interlock permit;
  4. Sentencing Court must approve permit (if not approved, no permit);
  5. 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 successful monitoring for the applicable above period of time, then the ignition interlock device may be removed and the permit may be renewed for additional periods of two month increments;

  1. Ignition Interlock Device permit is NOT available during period of an administrative suspension arising out of a refusal to submit to the state’s chemical test or a 2nd in 5 year per se administrative suspension.

Restrictions of Ignition Interlock Device Permit: Restricted to drive solely for the following purposes:

  1. Going to his or her place of employment;
  2. Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;
  3. Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of treatment support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the (DDS) commissioner;
  4. Going for monthly monitoring visits with the permit holder’s ignition interlock device service provider; and
  5. Such other restrictions as the department (DDS) may require;
  6. 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;
  7. Cost of permit: $25 (renewal of permit is $5);
  8. List of Approved Ignition Interlock Service Providers:(https://online.dds.ga.gov/ddsgeorgiagov/locations/interlock.aspx)
  • Ignition interlocks MUST be installed in Georgia.
  • Ignition Interlock waiver eligibility:

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.

*        License Revocation (third offense within 5 years) (measured from the dates of previous arrests for which DUI convictions were obtained to the date of current arrest for which a DUI conviction is obtained):

*        Declared a habitual violator

*        All drivers: 5 year suspension, with no limited permit for Georgia licensees for at least 24 months;

*        possible probationary license for Georgia licensees after 24 months if:

*        No prior convictions or pleaded nolo contendere to a charge of violating Title 3 of the Georgia Code relating to alcoholic beverages, or to a charge of violating any provision of Chapter 13 of Title 16 of the Georgia Code relating to controlled substances that are reported on the driver’s Georgia driver’s history;

*        No convictions for traffic offenses in 2 years immediately preceding application for permit;

*        Had no convictions for traffic offenses that resulted in serious injury or death of any individual;

*        Successfully completed a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction program prior to the issuance of a permit;

*        Provide a sworn affidavit to DDS that such person does not excessively use alcoholic beverages and does not illegally use controlled substances or marijuana (DDS typically requires completion of an approved substance abuse treatment program);

*        Provide proof  of  financial responsibility (liability insurance);

*        Payment of $210 ($200 by mail/internet) to DDS to process permit application;

*        An ignition interlock device must be installed for a minimum of 8 months immediately following the issuance of the probationary license;

*        At the end of the 5 year revocation period, if all conditions are met, a driver may apply to reinstate his or her driving privileges by submitting payment of $410 ($400 by mail/internet) and submitting proof of completion of a DUI Risk Reduction program.  The department may also conduct an investigation to determine if is safe to grant the privilege of driving a motor vehicle on the public highways.

  • 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 ($400 by mail/internet, $410 in person) to the Department of Driver Services.

ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION ACTION:

This administrative action is a civil action against a driver’s license or privilege to drive in the State of Georgia.  Because of the complex nature of administrative license suspension actions and its interplay with a DUI criminal case, Georgia licensees, and out-of-state licensees, it is not covered here. 

Please contact Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm at 404.816.8777 to more thoroughly discuss the possible implications of an administrative license suspension action on your license and/or driving privileges.  A Georgia DUI lawyer with the firm is available 24/7 to discuss your case.