If convicted of a drunk driving charge, it could alter the course of your life. You may find yourself dealing with penalties that can alter your educational opportunities, career and many other areas of your life. It is in your interests to fight back and defend yourself, even if it is your first offense.
The importance of an effective defense increases dramatically if you are facing a DUI for the second or subsequent time. Georgia laws are strict regarding repeat drunk driving offenses, and the penalties become harsher and more expensive with each DUI. If you find yourself in this situation, it is beneficial to learn more about what you are up against and how you can develop an effective defense strategy.
The grave consequences of repeat DUIs
A second or third DUI is much more than just a frustrating occurrence or potential threat to your driving privileges — it is a criminal charge that could impact the rest of your life. Drivers arrested and charged with drunk driving for a second time within five years of the first DUI may find themselves facing the following penalties:
- At least 48 hours in jail with the possibility of up to one year behind bars
- Fines ranging from $600 to $1,000
- Mandatory community service for 30 days
- Clinical evaluation and possible required attendance in a treatment program
- License suspended for three years, plus reinstatement fees
If you face charges for drunk driving in Georgia for a third time within five years of the second offense, the following penalties may apply to you:
- Minimum of 15 days behind bars
- Community service requirement
- Revocation of driver’s license for five years
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
- Declaration as a habitual offender
- Publication of your name, address and photo in the local newspaper
- Clinical evaluation and substance abuse treatment
These are expensive, grave penalties. No matter the details of your individual situation, it is in your interests to fight these charges and work for the most beneficial outcome to your case.
Your defense starts now
You do not have to face drunk driving charges alone. You can start working on your defense as soon as possible after your arrest, starting with seeking a complete evaluation of your case and assessment of the defense options available to you. Your long-term interests, future opportunities and personal freedoms are on the line, and they are worth protecting.