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2nd DUI in GA: Drunk Driving Laws Harsher Sentencing

By: William C. Head, Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney – ABA Board-Certified DUI Attorney Near Me

2nd DUI Harsher SentenceAn arrest for a 2nd DUI in GA mandates harsher misdemeanor DUI penalties if convicted. The time between offenses (known by DUI lawyers as the “look-back period,” under Georgia DUI laws) controls driving privileges and mandatory jail time, among the numerous other punishments for conviction of driving under the influence for a 2nd DUI.

In Georgia, two separate “look back” periods exist for the second DUI offense. For driver’s license impact on a 2nd DUI in Georgia, the lookback period for suspending driving privileges is five (5) years, measured by the calendar time between dates of arrest.

For criminal punishment and imposition of jail time and all other DUI penalty criminal law sanctions, a ten (10) year lookback is used, and measures time between offenses by dates of arrest. As can be seen in this article, avoiding a DUI conviction by finding a local law firm capable of beating a DUI second offense is the first order of business.

9 Additional DUI Penalties for a Second Offense DUI in GA

These following nine (9) additional DUI penalties for a 2nd DUI conviction demonstrate why finding the law office of the best DUI lawyers is so important, compared to a 1st DUI GA:

1. Jail Time – 72 hours is the minimum, and 12 months is the maximum for the second conviction for DUI in ten years, but some courts in Georgia routinely hand out 30 days of incarceration. even on a guilty plea, while most judges in GA DUI first-offense cases do not impose additional jail time, beyond the hours served in jail on the night of the arrest for DUI.

2. License Suspension – A DUI second offense brings a three (3) year driver’s license suspension, with the possibility for Georgia licensees to obtain early reinstatement (but only a limited driving permit) after 120 days IF you have completed DUI school and are enrolled in alcohol treatment. Also, you must pay the reinstatement fee ($310) PLUS (to then be able to drive) a mandatory ignition interlock device must be installed for 12 months (minimum) and paid for by the person convicted, which can cost about $1500 to $1800 total. The DDS in Georgia requires you to pay for a certificate to install AND to remove this ignition interlock device, upon completion of 12 full months.

If no new convictions or no failure to comply with conditions after 18 months have happened, the full GA driver’s license can be applied for, with the RED STRIPE (See no. 8 below.) Be aware that the restricted, limited driving permit for a 2nd offender does NOT allow that driver to transport children AT ALL until full driving privileges are reinstated.

3. Community Service – 240 hours is the minimum number of community service hours for a DUI second conviction in ten years, compared to only 40 hours of service after a first offense DUI.

4. Clinical Evaluation for Alcohol and Drug Treatment – While a first offense DUI may not require any counseling and treatment therapy sessions, almost every 2nd DUI in GA calls for 17 weeks of treatment sessions, or more, if the DUI assessment shows alcohol addiction. The best DUI lawyers in Atlanta will give you a list of addiction counselors to investigate on your own.

5. Fines – A DUI 1st offense carries a minimum of $300 fine, but a DUI 2nd offense requires not less than $600 and surcharges, but almost all courts assess the maximum $1000 fine. Mandatory state surcharges and assessments imposed by the Legislature result in double the cost of the fine, or more for a DUI-drugs conviction.

6. Confiscation of Motor Vehicle Tags – A second DUI in GA within five years of the first DUI offense triggers surrendering every license plate from all motor vehicles titled in your name at the time of the plea or conviction after trial, while no such action is taken for a first time DUI in Georgia.

7. Publication of Your Photo in NewspaperGeorgia DUI law calls for your mugshot to be published, at your cost, in the local newspaper (called the “legal organ” of the County) in which you live. Out-of-state licensees have their photo published in the county where they were convicted of a 2nd DUI offense in GA.

8. Future Driver’s License Is “Marked” With Red Stripe If a Repeat Offender – Georgia law [under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-85. Reinstatement of licenses; marker on the license of a person convicted for the second time of driving under the influence] calls for DDS GA to add a red stripe at the top of your driver’s license, indicating a prior DUI conviction on your record.

Even for a routine speeding ticket, can you think of any police officer who will NOT fully investigate you for being a drunk driver, as a prior DUI offender? This red stripe must remain on your Georgia driver’s license for not less than seven years.

9. Relocation Not Allowed or Travel Restrictions Imposed – Under the Interstate Compact, which is authorized by federal law, a second DUI offender who has a sentence of more than 12 months becomes restricted to relocate from your state, without permission from both the sentencing state (via the Georgia State Pardons and Paroles Board) and the “incoming” state (any other state to which you want to travel or relocate).

The way you can move from state to state is restricted, much like a sex offender, under federal laws. This move requires approval from the sentencing state and the “incoming” state.

For a quick overview of the mandatory minimum, criminal punishments for a first-offense DUI, 2nd DUI, third DUI, or 4th DUI felony, see the copyrighted infographic that Bubba Head created on Georgia DUI penalties below.

Georgia DUI Mandatory Minimum Sentences

How a 2nd DUI In Georgia Typically Occurs

Due to the relatively mild impact of a first DUI offense, about 25% of first offenders will face other DUI arrests in the future. If his or her original DUI attorney failed to properly advise about the highly punitive consequences of a second DUI, some citizens with an unresolved tendency for drinking and driving will risk another arrest, by thinking that they can “handle” a few drinks and drive. The next thing they know they come upon a DUI checkpoint near me and are facing arrest.

The reality is that if a police officer SMELLS alcohol on your breath or questions you and you fail to exercise the right to remain silent (about consuming alcohol), you are almost certainly going to jail for drunken driving.

Because even a first-offense DUI remains on your criminal records history for LIFE and NEVER can be expunged or removed, our DUI attorneys recommend fighting ANY driving under the influence Georgia case. Beating the initial GA DUI case is a godsend if you happen to be arrested again for drunk driving.

Waiting to hire the best DUI lawyer for a 2nd DUI in GA is the second-best idea next to hiring the best attorney for fighting the first lifetime DUI charge. Since Georgia record restrictions are unavailable for intoxicated driving convictions, doesn’t fighting make sense?

FREE Legal Advice and Full Information on DUI Lawyer Cost

Contact our three award-winning DUI lawyers near me, each of whom has multiple Super Lawyers’ attorney ratings. Cory Yager was an ex-police officer for nearly a decade, with thousands of arrests to his credit. His unmatched ability to obtain a reduction of charges in almost all his cases is based on knowing more about the case than the arresting officer.

For a FREE lawyer consultation near me in metro Atlanta, DIAL: 404-567-5515. Our criminal attorneys in Sandy Springs will speak to you 24-7 because our Atlanta lawyers know that information can help relieve stress after a DUI arrest. Partner Larry Kohn has over 440 AVVO 5-star client reviews, which is among the top lawyer ratings of all attorneys in America.

Larry Kohn Super Lawyer 2018 to 2019

The call is FREE, and the legal consultation is FREE. Not all law offices are the same, and our DUI specialists are unlikely to give you the same advice as you hear from others. Plus, Bubba Head gives you a FREE PDF copy of his 430-page book for clients facing driving under the influence charges.

Our DUI attorneys near me want you to see the difference in the approach taken by our law office. Ask about our attorney’s fee payment plans and courtroom litigation experience.

WARNING! After virtually EVERY DUI arrest in Georgia for a 2nd offense DUI, you will have only 30 days to file your DDS appeal, or opt for the new ignition interlock device limited permit (IIDLP). Don’t wait until the last minute to find legal services since these options require TIME to put in place BEFORE the 30 days expire.


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Sandy Springs, GA 30342
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235 Peachtree Street NE
Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 567-5515
in Cobb County, GA:
109 Anderson Street
Suite 103
Marietta, GA 30060
(888) 274-6288
in North Fulton County, GA:
33 S Main St
Suite 302
Alpharetta, GA 30009
(844) 867-2889