It’s no secret that driving under the influence is a crime in Georgia. However, what may be less known is that a second or subsequent DUI conviction can lead to harsher penalties — including jail time.
A DUI — a charge for driving under the influence, — is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. This means that if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, you will be arrested and charged with DUI.
If you’re facing a second or third DUI charge, it’s important to understand what you’re up against and how to defend yourself. Seeking legal assistance from an experienced DUI lawyer ensures that you receive the best possible outcome in your case.
Second DUI Offense in Georgia
When you get pulled over for a suspected DUI, the blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher causes most people to be arrested and charged with the offense. However, several factors may lead to an officer charging you with a DUI even if your BAC wasn’t above 0.08%.
For example, if there is evidence of open liquor containers in your car or any drug paraphernalia present, this could cause an officer to arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI).
Another key factor in determining whether someone will be charged with a second DUI is their previous DWI/DUI conviction history. If your previous conviction was within five years of your current arrest, you would be facing increased penalties for your second conviction.
Fines for a second conviction are typically higher than your first, with fines ranging anywhere from $600 to $1,000. You may also face jail time, although not as substantial as if you were charged with your third DUI.
Your license will be suspended for at least one year, and you will have to apply for an ignition interlock device that is attached to your car before getting the revocation lifted.
If the officer arrests you for reckless driving or speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit (in addition to your DUI), these charges will count towards your “DUI” conviction history, and your sentencing could include imprisonment instead of house arrest community service.
If convicted of a second DUI offense, you will have to complete an alcohol and drug evaluation within 60 days and follow any recommendations made by the counselor. You may also be required to attend DUI school and/or an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Third DUI Offense in Georgia
In Georgia, a third DUI offense is classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor. This means that the drunk driver will face harsher penalties than before. If you are convicted of a third DUI, you could be facing up to 12 months in jail, fines totaling $5,000 or more, and a driver’s license suspension of at least five years.
In addition to the criminal penalties, there are also civil penalties that you may be subject to. These include increased insurance rates, car immobilization or forfeiture, and mandatory alcohol education and treatment programs.
In addition, your car may be seized, and you may be required to install an ignition interlock device. To avoid these penalties, it is important to know your rights and understand the steps that can be taken to protect yourself. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against the charges and protect your future.
A third-time offender faces between 90 days and one year in jail, possible placement on probation (in addition to any other punishment), mandatory completion of an alcohol safety course approved by DDS, enrollment in a rehabilitation program at their own expense, and between 40 hours and 60 hours of community service.
If the offender already has two prior convictions on his record within the past 10 years from another state or federal court, he will face a high and aggravated misdemeanor charge that includes 365 days in jail as well as $5,000 in fines. There are also penalties for refusing to take evidentiary tests during a DUI arrest.
Get a DUI Lawyer Now!
It’s never a good time to get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), but this can be an especially difficult time. If you have gotten a DUI and need a lawyer, the Hines Law can help. We have experienced Atlanta DUI lawyers who can help you through this difficult time.
We will work tirelessly to get your charges reduced or dropped altogether. With our help, you can hopefully get the best outcome possible for your case. Contact us today to get started!