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.