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Georgia DUI Laws & Penalties

There are two ways that a person may be arrested for being in violation of Georgia DUI law O.C.G.A § 40-6-391, the first is for being in violation of the Georgia 'per se' law, which states that it is against the law for any person to operate or be in control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater.

The second way a person can be arrested for being in violation of Georgia DUI law is, through the arresting officer's observation's of the defendant's driving behavior prior to the stop or by being involved in a collision.  In either of these cases it is not necessary for the defendant to have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater, you can be arrested for and charged with a Georgia DUI even if your BAC was .06 percent.

Georgia DUI Under 21 Years Old

If you are under 21 years of age and are stopped for any reason and your blood alcohol concentration is .02% or greater, you will be arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia.  A first time offense will result in your driver's license being suspended for 6-months.

A second offense under the age of 21 will result in your driver's license being suspended for a period of 12-months.  Anyone arrested for DUI under the age of 21 is not eligible for a limited driving permit.  You will have to wait until your suspension period is up before you may apply for a license reinstatement with the Georgia DDS.

Commercial Motor Vehicles

Anyone stopped while driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater is in violation of the Georgia 'per se' law and will be arrested.

Georgia Administrative Hearing Process

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia, the arresting officer must read you the 'implied consent law' notice and request that you submit to a state approved chemical test.  Whether or not you refused a chemical test or took the chemical test, the arresting officer will issue an order of suspension on your driver's license and you only have ten days from the date of your arrest in which to request an administrative hearing with the Georgia DDS.

If you fail to request an administrative hearing within the ten day period following your arrest, the suspension will be upheld and you will not be eligible to apply for a limited driving permit.

Penalties for refusing a chemical test

If you refused a chemical test and failed to request an administrative hearing within ten days of your arrest, your driver's license will be suspended for a minimum of 1-year and can be suspended for up to 5-years depending on any previous convictions.

Limited Driving Permits

A first time offender may apply for a limited permit in order to drive to and from work and during their normal duties while at work.  To drive to the pharmacy to pickup a prescription.  To drive to and from school.  To drive to and from DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program.  Before the DDS will issue you a limited permit you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR22 insurance filing.

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A second time offender may apply for an ignition interlock limited driving permit (as long as they submitted to a chemical test) after 12 months of the suspension period has elapsed. In order to be eligible for an interlock permit you must submit proof of DUI school completion and installation of the ignition interlock device before the DDS will issue you an ignition interlock limited permit.  You will be responsible for the installation costs and monthly leasing fees associated with the ignition interlock.  After you have had the ignition interlock device permit for 6-months, you may apply for reinstatement of your driver's license by mailing a fee of $200 and the original proof of completion of the Risk Reduction program to:

Georgia Department of Driver Services, PO Box 80447 Conyers, GA 30013

You may also apply for reinstatement in person at the Conyers office by paying a $210 in-person fee and providing them with proof of completion of the Risk Reduction program.

Main office: 2206 East View Parkway Conyers, GA 30013

Georgia First Offense DUI

A first offense conviction means that you have not been convicted of a previous DUI charge within the past 10-years.  The penalties for a first offense DUI charge are as follows:

Jail time:  The minimum jail sentence for a first offense conviction is ten days and the maximum jail sentence is 12-months.  If your BAC was .07% or less, the judge may suspend or probate the minimum jail sentence at his or her discretion.  If your BAC was .08% or greater, at the judge's discretion all but 24-hours of the jail sentence may be suspended or probated.

Fines:  The minimum fine for a first offense conviction is $300 and the maximum fine can go as high as $1,000.

License Suspension:  If your blood alcohol concentration was below .08% your license will be suspended for 6-months.  If your blood alcohol concentration was .08% or greater, your license will be suspended for 12-months.  A first time offender may apply for a limited license.

Before the DDS will reinstate your license or issue you a limited permit, you will be required to file an SR22 form with the DDS showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Georgia SR22 insurance policy.

Alcohol Treatment: The court may order you to complete an approved DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program.

Probation:  You will also be sentenced to 12-months of probation, less time already served in jail.

Community Service:  A first time offender who's BAC level was .08% or greater will have to perform 40 hours of community service and first time offender's who's BAC level was less than .08% will have to perform 20 hours of community service.

Georgia Second Offense DUI

A second offense conviction means that you have been convicted of one previous DUI within the past 10-years.  The penalties for a second offense DUI conviction are as follows:

Jail time:  The minimum jail sentence for a second offense conviction is 90 days and the maximum jail sentence is 12-months.  Based on the circumstances surrounding your case and the previous conviction, the judge may probate all but 72 hours of your jail sentence.

Fines:  The minimum fine for a second offense conviction is $600 and the maximum fine can go as high as $1,000.

License Suspension:  Your driver's license will be suspended for 3-years.  You may apply for an ignition interlock driving permit at the end of the first 12-months of you suspension period.  To be eligible for the permit you will have to successfully complete and submit proof of your completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program and proof of an ignition interlock device before the Georgia DDS will issue you an ignition interlock driving permit.

The ignition interlock device will be required for 6-months, at the end of the 6-month period you may apply for reinstatement of your driver's license once you pay the $200 reinstatement fee.  You will also be required to file an SR22 form with the Georgia DDS showing proof of financial responsibility in the form of Georgia SR22 Filing before you are issued an ignition interlock permit.

Alcohol Treatment: You will have to complete a mandatory clinical evaluation and the court ordered DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program before you will be issued an ignition interlock permit.

Probation:  You will also be sentenced to 12-months of probation, less time already served in jail.

Community Service:  A second time offender will be required to perform a minimum of 30 days of community service.

Georgia Third Offense DUI

A third offense conviction means that you have been convicted of two previous DUI's within the past 10-years.  The penalties for a third offense DUI conviction are as follows:

Jail time:  The minimum jail sentence for a third offense conviction is 120 days and the maximum jail sentence is 1-year.  Based on the circumstances surrounding your case and the previous convictions, the judge may probate all but 15 days of your jail sentence.

Fines:  The minimum fine for a third offense conviction is $1,000 and the maximum fine can go as high as $5,000.

License Revocation:  Your driver's license will be revoke for 5-years and you will not be eligible for a limited permit license.  Your photo will also appear in the local newspaper along with your name and the violation specifics.

You may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle before the DDS will reinstate your driver's license following your revocation period.  You will also be required to carry Georgia SR22 insurance filing for a period of 3-years once your license is reinstated.

Alcohol Treatment: You will have to complete a mandatory clinical evaluation and the court ordered DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program before your license will be reinstated at the end of your revocation period.

Probation:  You will also be sentenced to 12-months of probation, less time already served in jail.

Community Service:  A third time offender will be required to perform a minimum of 30 days of community service.

Georgia Fourth or Subsequent Offense DUI

A fourth or subsequent offense conviction means that you have been convicted of three previous DUI's within the past 10-years and a fourth offense is a felony offense.  The penalties for a fourth or subsequent offense DUI conviction are as follows:

Jail time:  The minimum jail sentence for a fourth or subsequent offense conviction is 1-year and the maximum jail sentence is 5-years.  Based on the circumstances surrounding your case and the previous convictions, the judge may probate all but 3-months of your jail sentence.

Fines:  The minimum fine for a fourth or subsequent offense conviction is $1,000 and the maximum fine can go as high as $5,000.

License Revocation:  Your driver's license will be revoke for 5-years and you will not be eligible for a limited permit license.  Your photo will also appear in the local newspaper along with your name and the violation specifics.  You may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle before the DDS will reinstate your driver's license following your revocation period.

Alcohol Treatment: You will have to complete a mandatory clinical evaluation and the court ordered DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program before your license will be reinstated at the end of your revocation period.

Probation:  You will also be sentenced to 5-years of probation, less time already served in jail.

Community Service:  A fourth time offender will be required to perform a minimum of 60 days of community service.

Georgia SR22 Requirements

Before the Georgia Department of Driver Services will reinstate your license following your suspension or revocation period or before issuing you a limited permit, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license or permit. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Georgia SR22 coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Georgia DDS of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Georgia DDS will immediately suspended your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DDS before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Georgia and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

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Other Georgia DUI Resources

  • Georgia First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • Georgia SR22 Insurance Filings - We have compiled everything you need to know about Georgia's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • Georgia DUI Risk Reduction Programs - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI risk reduction programs listed by County.

  • Georgia Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Georgia bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.

  • Georgia DUI Courts - Comprehensive list of Georgia's criminal courts listed by County.

  • Jails in Georgia - Comprehensive list of Georgia's jails and contact information.