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Attorney Christopher T. Adams

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How long can a Georgia DUI affect driving privileges?

An arrest for an alleged driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Georgia can carry multiple different penalties. Depending on the situation that led to someone’s arrest, their recent driving record and certain other factors, Georgia judges can order defendants to pay significant fines or serve time in jail after a DUI conviction.

There are also often licensing consequences possible when facing DUI charges in Georgia. A judge may suspend someone’s driver’s license, leaving them unable to get to work and possibly with an unbalanced budget because of the cost of securing transportation on demand.

How long might someone face restrictions on their driving privileges after a Georgia DUI conviction?

The circumstances determine the consequences

The law in Georgia does include licensing penalties among the suggested consequences for impaired driving infractions. The duration of someone’s license suspension largely depends on the severity of the DUI charge they face and their prior record. Someone with multiple prior DUI convictions could lose their license for far longer than someone accused of a first DUI violation.

Technically, anyone facing DUI charges is at risk of an administrative license suspension, and the only way to avoid that suspension is to request a hearing within 30 days of someone’s arrest. The state can suspend someone’s license for refusing or failing a breath test even before their DUI charges go to court.

If the DUI offense is someone’s first charge or it has been five years since their prior DUI, their license suspension may last up to a full year. However, they may be able to regain driving privileges after 120 days if they complete a special course and pay certain fees. Someone convicted of a second Georgia DUI within five years of the first could lose their license for three years. A third offense within five years could lead to a five-year license revocation. There can be lingering consequences even after someone regains their license in some cases.

Georgia judges can also order people to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) when handing down a sentence for an impaired driving offense. Commercial licenses could also be at risk. Licensing penalties can both be expensive and highly inconvenient. Fighting a pending DUI charge successfully is the most effective means of limiting consequences, including driver’s license penalties.


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