In Georgia, approximately 12% of arrests for DUI each year are from repeat drunk drivers. 1.5% of those arrests are habitual violators. Repeat drunken drivers put everyone on Georgia roads at risk. Nationwide statistics show the extent of the problem.
- Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.
- Most drunk drivers have driven drunk over 80 times before their first arrest.
- About one-third of all drivers convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.
DUI is a misdemeanor offense
Georgia is one of few states where driving under intoxication is not an automatic criminal charge. DUI is considered a misdemeanor unless property damage and serious bodily injury or death are involved. If convicted, you can be fined between $300 to $1,000, have your license suspended for up to 1 year, face possible jail time of up to 1 year, and serve a mandatory 40 hours of community service.
Penalties for DUI repeat offenders in Georgia
If you are charged with a second or subsequent DUI in Georgia, the penalties increase significantly. If you receive a second or 3rd DUI within ten years, it is considered a misdemeanor and you face:
- Mandatory license suspension of three years
- Jail time of between 72 hours and one year
- Minimum fine of between $600 and $1,000
- Mandatory 30 days of community service
- Mandatory clinical assessment for alcohol and drug addiction, and completion of substance abuse treatment program.
However, if you are arrested for a 2nd or 3rd DUI and have caused property damage, or serious bodily injury or death, it becomes a felony.
On a fourth DUI within ten years, it becomes a felony. At this point, you are looking at a maximum of five years in prison, up to a $5,000 fine, 60 days community service, mandatory DUI School, five years probation, and a possible lifetime suspension of your driver’s license.
A DUI can ruin the rest of your life. It can negatively affect employment, driving privileges, college admissions, etc.
Tyler Moffitt is a Family Law and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices Carrollton, LaGrange, and Columbus, GA. He graduated from John Marshall Law School, and has been practicing for several years now. Tyler Moffitt takes great honor in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.