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2nd DUI in GA: Drunk Driving Laws Require Harsher Punishment

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

Bubba Head 2nd DUI Lawyer

An arrest for a 2nd DUI in GA mandates harsher DUI penalties, if convicted. The time interval between offenses (known by DUI lawyers as the “lookback 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.

2nd dui georgia lawyer

In Georgia, two separate “lookback” periods exist for the second DUI offense. For drivers’ license impact, on a 2nd DUI in Georgia, the lookback period for suspending driving privileges is five (5) years, measured by 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 also measures time by dates of arrest. As can be seen in the remaining parts of this article, avoiding a DUI conviction by finding a 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 graphically 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 10 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.

2nd DUI Jail Time

2. License Suspension – A DUI second offense brings a three (3) year driver 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 $1200 to $1800 total.

If no new convictions or no failure to comply with conditions after 18 months, the full GA driver’s license can be applied for, with the RED STRIPE. (See Number 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.

2nd DUI License Suspended

3. Community Service – 240 hours is the minimum number of community service hours for a DUI second conviction in 10 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.

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 $1000. Mandatory state surcharges and assessments imposed by the Legislature result in double the cost of the fine.

2nd DUI Fines Georgia

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 every motor vehicle 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.

2nd DUI License Plate Tag

7. Publication of Your Photo in Newspaper – Georgia 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 convicted of a 2nd DUI offense in GA.

second dui newspaper mugshot

8. Future Driver 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 license of person convicted for 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.

2nd DUI License Suspended

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 7 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 manner in which you are allowed to move is like a sex offender, under federal laws.

How a 2nd DUI in Georgia Typically Occurs

Due to the relatively mild impact of a first DUI offense, about 25% of first offenders again will face 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 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.

2nd DUI Expunged GA

Because even a first offense DUI remains on your criminal 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 true 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 to hiring that best attorney for fighting the first lifetime DUI charge.

FREE Legal Advice and Full Information on DUI Lawyer Cost

2nd DUI Law Firm Atlanta

Contact our 3 DUI lawyers, each of whom has Super Lawyers attorney ratings. DIAL: 404-567-5515. We will speak to you 24-7, because our criminal attorneys know that legal advice can help relieve stress after DUI arrests. The call is FREE, and the legal consultation is FREE. We want you to compare DUI law firms, and then see the difference in the approach taken by our law office. Ask about our Attorney’s Fee Payment Plans.

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 to the last minute, since these options require TIME to put in place BEFORE the 30 days expires.



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5590 Roswell Road
Suite 200
Sandy Springs, GA 30342
235 Peachtree Street NE
Suite 400
Atlanta, GA 30303
in Cobb County, GA:
109 Anderson Street
Suite 103
Marietta, GA 30060
in North Fulton County, GA:
1001 Cambridge Square
Suite B
Alpharetta, GA 30009