Georgia Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties

Learn about the penalties for a first, second, and third DUI conviction in Georgia.

Georgia DUI laws prohibit driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle:

A driver who is less safe to drive due to alcohol or drugs is considered “under the influence.” A person can also be convicted of a per se DUI with a BAC of .08% or more, regardless of actual impairment.

Georgia DUI Penalties

After a DUI conviction, the judge will determine the jail and fine within the statutory guidelines. These guidelines establish penalty ranges based upon the number of prior DUI convictions the offender has that occurred within the last ten years.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

10 days to 12 months

90 days to 12 months

120 days to 12 months

Fines

$300 to $1,000

$600 to $1,000

$1,000 to $5,000

Community Service

Minimum 20 hours (40 hours if BAC was .08% or more)

Minimum 30 days

Minimum 30 days

Probation. All DUI offenders will be placed on probation for 12 months, less any time served in jail. Before starting probation, a DUI offender must serve at least 24 hours in jail for a first offense, 72 hours in jail for a second offense, and 15 days in jail for a third offense.

Treatment. All convicted motorists must complete an alcohol and drug clinical evaluation and follow any recommended treatment program. Second-time DUI offenders must also complete a DUI alcohol or drug use risk reduction program.

Minor passengers. An impaired driver who was transporting a minor passenger can be charged with a separate offense of child endangerment. A child endangerment conviction will add up to 12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines to the normal DUI penalties.

Forfeiture. Motorists who are convicted of a second DUI within five years must surrender their driver’s license plates and will not get them back until their driver’s license is reinstated. On a third or subsequent DUI conviction, the judge will order that the vehicle driven during the offense be forfeited and sold.

Driver’s License Penalties

For a DUI conviction, the driver will face license suspension for a period that is based on the number of convictions within the last five years.

  • First offense. 12-month suspension but may be reinstated after 120 days if the driver completes a DUI education program and pays a $200 reinstatement fee.
  • Second offense. Three-year suspension but may be reinstated after 18 months if the driver completes a DUI education program and pays a $200 reinstatement fee.
  • Third offense. Permanent revocation but the driver can apply for a probationary license after three years.
  • Injury or death DUI. Three-year suspension and the driver is ineligible for early reinstatement and a hardship license.

Hardship license. Unless the driver had a DUI collision or has a prior DUI within five years, he or she can apply for a hardship license. The driver must be enrolled in treatment or accountability court. The license is effective during the suspension period and subject to ignition interlock device (IID) and travel restrictions. Drivers with one prior DUI in the last five years can apply for a hardship license after completing 120 days of their suspension.

Implied consent. All persons who drive in Georgia are considered to have impliedly given their consent to an alcohol or a drug test of their breath, blood, or urine. A driver who is arrested for a DUI but refuses to submit to a lawful request for a chemical test will be subject to license suspension.

  • First offense in five years. One-year suspension but the driver can reinstate after 30 days and completion of a DUI education program.
  • Second offense in five years. Three-year suspension but the driver can reinstate after 18 months and completion of a DUI education program.
  • Third offense in five years. Five-year suspension bit the driver can get a probationary license after two years and completion of a DUI education program.

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