What are the potential penalties for drunk driving in Georgia?

Because of the seriousness of drunk driving charges, individuals may wonder what penalties are possible following impaired driving charges in Georgia. Penalties for impaired driving in Georgia can depend on the number of drunk driving offenses an individual has had. For a first impaired driving offense, an individual may face jail time up to one year; a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000; license suspension up to one year; a minimum mandatory amount of community service; and a license reinstatement fee.

Penalties for impaired driving in Georgia can increase for a second offense within five years of the first offense. Penalties for a second impaired driving charge in Georgia can include a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail and a possible jail sentence ranging 90 days to one year; a fine ranging from $600 to $1,000; license suspension for 3 years; a mandatory minimum amount of community service; license reinstatement fee; and a required clinical evaluation and completion of a substance abuse program, if required.

Penalties for impaired driving in Georgia continue to increase with the third offense within five years of the second offense. Penalties for a third impaired driving charge in Georgia can include a mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail; a fine ranging from $1,000 to $5,000; license revocation for up to five years; a mandatory minimum amount of community service; required clinical evaluation and completion of a substance abuse program, if required; as well as several additional penalties including being declared a habitual offender.

Drunk driving allegations and charges can have a significant impact on the life and future of individuals facing them. Because of the serious nature of potential drunk driving penalties associated with impaired driving charges, the criminal defense process provides important protections for individuals accused of a crime such as drunk driving. It is important, for instance, that police followed proper procedures when making an arrest and that evidence was properly collected leading any charges. The serious potential consequences and penalties associated with drunk driving charges require that individuals facing them are familiar with the protections and legal options available to them.

Source: Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, "Georgia's Impaired Driving Laws & Penalties," Accessed Oct. 28, 2015

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