Georgia Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia.

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What are the penalties for a DUI in Georgia?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

4th Offense

Jail

24 hours to 1 year

3 days to 1 year

15 days to 1 year

 1 to 5 years

Fines and Penalties

$300 to $1,000

$600 to $1,000

$1,000 to $5,000

$1,000 to $5,000

License Suspension

Up to 1 year

3 years

5 years

Indefinitely

IID** Required

No

Yes - if court
allows

Yes

Yes

Lookback Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Prior to 2008, it had been five years.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Georgia?

Under 21

.02% 

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

**BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

You may want to try our BAC Calculator, however I wouldn't let any results encourage you to drink and drive.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Georgia?

Georgia has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Georgia’s implied consent law.

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

Suspension of license for 1 year

Suspension of license for 3 years

Suspension of license for 5 years

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Georgia

The State of Georgia prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The .08 BAC limit is standard throughout the United States. In addition to this law, there are also separate, lower BAC limits for drivers under the age of 21, and commercial drivers. Georgia also has an "Open Container Law". The open container law prohibits a alcoholic beverage container that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage in it from being inside a moving vehicle. This includes containers with broken seals or containers that have had the alcohol partially removed in a vehicle on the roadway or shoulder of any public highway. The fine for violating the open container law is $200.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Georgia? There isn't one correct answer to this question as each individual has certain characteristics that may impact the number of drinks that it would take to become legally impaired. Variables such as weight, body fat percentage and the length of time between drinks can all be factors in the drunk driver equation. There have been studies that have show that for each drink, your BAC could go up as much as .05 percent. The fact is it takes very little alcohol to become legally drunk, and the risks and penalties for drunk driving clearly outweigh any good that could come by driving impaired.

The best answer is not to drink and drive. The State of Georgia has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Georgia, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first DUI conviction in Georgia you will receive a possible jail sentence of one year. The fine that you receive will be from $300 minimum to $1,000. Your drivers license will be suspended for up to one year and you will also receive 40 hours of mandatory community service. To have your drivers license reinstated you will need to pay a $210 reinstatement fee. Drivers that are under 21 must delay obtaining their graduated drivers license for 12 months.

A second DUI conviction in Georgia will be a mandatory jail sentence minimum of 48 hours, however you could receive from 90 days - 1 year in jail. The fine you receive will be from $600 minimum to $1,000. You will also receive a drivers license suspension for a period of 3 years and a minimum 30 days of community service.

To have your drivers license reinstated will cost $210. You will also have to complete a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if the court wishes, you will have to complete a substance abuse treatment program at your expense. The court may also order you to have an ignition interlock device attached to your vehicle for second and subsequent offenses. Drivers that are under 21 must delay obtaining their graduated drivers license for 12 months.

The third time you are convicted of drunk driving in Georgia you will receive a mandatory 15 days in Jail. The fine that you receive will be from $1,000 minimum, up to $5,000. Your drivers license will be revoked for 5 years and you will serve a mandatory 30 days of community service. The violators Name, Photo, and Address will be published in a local newspaper at the violators expense.

You will also be declared a "Habitual Violator" and your license plate will be seized and sent to the department of motor vehicle safety. You will also receive a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if the court wishes, you must complete a substance abuse treatment program at your expense. The court may also order you to have an ignition interlock device attached to your vehicle for second and subsequent offenses. Drivers that are under 21 must delay obtaining their graduated drivers license for 12 months.

Georgia House Bill 336, enacted in May of 2008 provides that a 4th driving under the influence violation within 10 years is a felony. A fourth conviction within 10 years of a previous offense will result in a fine not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000. Unless suspended by a judge, you will be imprisoned from 1 to 5 years. If the sentence is suspended by a judge, 90 days of the sentence must still be served. The convicted driver will also need to complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and may be ordered to complete a minimum of 60 days of community service.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Georgia?

Georgia law permits a prosecutor to reduce charges from a DUI to reckless driving (wet reckless). However, there are two things to consider: your record will continue to show a disposition for DUI, and you may recieve the same penalties as if convicted of a DUI. Reduction to reckless driving more typically occurs in first offenses.

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