Third Offense DUI in Georgia
Getting a third DUI within 10 years in Georgia is a serious matter resulting in mandatory jail time (at least 120 days), fines, and license suspension.
Administrative penalties concern driving privileges and are separate from any criminal penalties and proceedings you may have to deal with. If you get a third DUI in Georgia, your driver's license will be revoked. After your license is taken, you will get a temporary 30 day driving permit. Once the temporary permit expires, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 5 years. However, you may apply for a probationary license after 2 years if you meet the necessary requirements to do so.
If you are convicted of a third DUI offense in less than 10 years under Georgia law, you will have to do the following:
- Pay a fine anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000, though it can be paid in installments
- Serve a prison term of at least 3 months to a year, though you may get probation for part of it
- Perform at least 30 days of community service
- Complete a DUI Alcohol Risk Reduction Program approved by the state's Department of Human Resources
- Have a clinical evaluation
The Lookback Period
The lookback period in Georgia for a DUI offense is 10 years. (Prior to 2008, it had been five years).
Felony vs. Misdemeanor in Georgia
Getting a third DUI is a misdemanor (though considered a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor) under Georgia statutory law. High and aggravated misdemeanors are more serious than the regular misdemeanor you would get with a first or second conviction. (Note, a fourth DUI is treated like a felony).
Georgia law permits a prosecutor to reduce charges from a DUI to reckless driving. However, there are two things to consider: your record will continue to show a disposition for DUI, and you may receive the same penalties as if convicted of a DUI. Reduction to reckless driving more typically occurs in first offenses.
Getting Legal Help
Obviously, a third DUI offense has serious repercussions for your driving record, personal freedom, insurance, and your bank account. It is usually in your best interest to retain a Georgia DUI lawyer in order to safeguard your rights.