What are the penalties for drunk driving in Georgia?

It can be helpful to understand drunk driving laws and penalties in Georgia so that individuals facing an impaired driving situation and allegations will better understand how to respond to the allegations and charges they are facing. DUI penalties can be severe and harsh and may increase following additional DUI allegations and charges.

Penalties for an individual's first DUI can include possible jail time up to one year; a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000; license suspension up to one year; a minimum of 40 hours of required community service; and additional fees. If an individual is facing a second DUI charge within five years of the first offense, penalties can increase. Penalties for a second DUI in five years can include a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail with an additional 90 days to one year in jail that is possible; a fine ranging from $600 to $1,000; license suspension up to three years; a required clinical evaluation and completion of substance abuse treatment if necessary at a cost of the accused; and additional fees.

Penalties can grow even more severe for a third DUI charge within five years of the second. Penalties include a mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail; a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000; license revocation for five years; declaration of habitual offender status and license plate seizure; a minimum of 30 days of required community service; the violation published in a local newspaper with a name and photo at a cost to the accused party; and a required clinical evaluation and completion of substance abuse treatment if necessary at a cost to the accused party.

The potential penalties for a DUI may seem overwhelming to an individual facing drunk driving charges. DUI penalties can be costly and significant and can threaten the future of the accused individual for some time to come. Because of the serious nature of DUI charges and penalties, it is important to understand that any individual facing DUI charges and penalties has the right to defend against those charges.

Source: Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, "Georgia's Impaired Driving Laws & Penalties," accessed on Feb. 12, 2015

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