If you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia before, then you may think a second arrest is not that serious. After all, you already know what to expect, so you don’t have anything to worry about, right? Well, think again. Under state law, a second DUI in Georgia carries much harsher penalties than a first offense.

According to lawmakers, any person convicted of two or more DUIs within a five-year period is considered a habitual drunk driver. As a result, these motorists face much tougher sentencing guidelines than individuals who have no prior history of driving under the influence. If you get a second DUI, and especially if your DUI arrests are “back to back,” state prosecutors will be very hard to negotiate with, and your DUI lawyer may have a difficult time reducing the severity of your second DUI penalties.

Possible Penalties for Second DUI

A Georgia DUI “second offense” is treated much more harshly than the first offense. The minimum jail time is 72 hours on a second DUI in Georgia, but more realistically you are going to spend about a week to two weeks in jail with most judges for a second offense when you have had a prior 1st DUI within the last TEN (10) years. By the way, on a first offense “less safe DUI” case, zero time in jail is required.

Driver’s License Implications

A second DUI conviction in Georgia also triggers some devastating license suspension implications. Upon conviction, you are suspended for three years, subject to these possible ways to get some type of limited driving privileges:

a) No driving of any type for 120 days.

b) If you have completed or started several “rehabilitation” steps, you MAY obtain an “interlock restricted” limited permit following a DUI second offense in GA. This must stay on your vehicle for 12 full months, which you pay for. This cost will be about $4000.00.

c) After this period of interlock, assuming you have completed all conditions, you can get the interlock removed, but still have a limited, restricted right to drive for another 60 days.

d) At that point, you can apply for a full, early reinstatement of your license.

Because Legislators know that some people kept driving without a license, Georgia DUI laws require all motor vehicle tags IN your NAME to be surrendered, at the time of conviction. Then, one of your adult relatives (wife, adult child) must apply to the Georgia Department of Revenue for issuance of a “special” tag that signals law enforcement that this vehicle is being driven by the family member of a convicted second DUI vehicle owner.

Fines, Community Service, and Embarrassing Publicity

Depending on the circumstances of your case, the judge may also order you to perform up to 240 hours of community service, complete an alcohol education program (also known as DUI school), and pay anywhere from $600 to $1,000 in fines (plus a 15 percent to 25 percent surcharge). And, even after your court-imposed fine is paid, you may incur additional expenses, such as enrollment costs for DUI school, as well as an installation and/or monthly monitoring fee for your ignition interlock device.

Finally, as one final act of humiliation, you may actually have to pay to have your arrest—along with your name and photograph—published in a local newspaper. Unfortunately, long after that particular paper is out of circulation, your conviction will also remain on your criminal record—a fact that can threaten numerous employment, housing, and financial opportunities in the future.

Contact a Second DUI Offense Attorney Today

These punishments for a DUI second offense are very severe and this is part of the law that is made in Georgia for purposes of deterring people from getting in trouble again. Without doubt, these DUI penalties can harm you, your job, your family and your future. Our highly-qualified DUI attorneys have represented thousands of repeat DUI offenders, and we are not afraid to take on these highly sensitive and demanding cases.