In Georgia, drivers convicted of a DWI may face steep fines, DUI school, probation, license suspension, and other consequences. However, a DUI arrest is not the same as a DUI conviction. If you were arrested for a DWI, contact an attorney at Cambre and Associates as soon as possible. Not every DUI arrest results in a conviction. With an experienced attorney in your corner, they can help guide you through this arduous process and investigate your arrest to negotiate a dismissal or reduction of charges. 

Below, you’ll find information regarding GA’s strict drunk driving laws and the penalties drivers face for violating them.

Impaired Driving Laws in Georgia 

Driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is a serious issue in Georgia. DWI and drunk driving laws in Georgia are some of the toughest in the nation. 

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. DWI offenders can face heavy fines, lengthy jail terms, license suspension, vehicle impoundment, and other penalties. The state also has a zero-tolerance law for minors, meaning DWI offenses involving underage drivers can have even harsher consequences. 

DWI Penalties 

Georgia has an Implied Consent Law, which requires all motorists to submit to chemical testing if arrested on suspicion of DWI. Refusing the test results in a one-year driver’s license suspension. DWI offenders may also be ordered to attend DWI education courses, enroll in an alcohol treatment program, and use a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on their vehicle for six months or longer. 

First Offense

According to DWI and drunk driving laws in Georgia, the first DWI offense can lead to twelve months in jail and a fine of one thousand dollars. 

The minimum consequences are 24 hours in jail and three hundred dollars in fines. 

Other consequences for a first-time offense include 40 hours of community service, one year of probation, a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Course, or a substance abuse evaluation. DWI convictions require the completion of an Alcohol and Drug Risk Reduction Program (ADAP) and a one-year license suspension from the Georgia Department of Driver Services. 

2nd Offense Within 5 Years Of 1st Offense

If convicted of a DWI within five years of a first-offense DWI, it is a “Second Offense DWI Within Five Years Of First Offense.” This means the penalty for a DWI conviction is significantly more severe than for a first-offense DWI.

If the driver is convicted of a 2nd or more DUI offenses within five years, penalties can include:

  • License plates will be confiscated from all registered vehicles and surrendered to the court. License plates can be reissued once the suspension is over or due to a possible hardship exception for co-owners of the vehicle or other household members who use the vehicle.
  • Minimum of 72 hours in jail, up to one year in jail
  • $600 up to $1,000 in fines 
  • 30 days of community service 
  • $210 license reinstatement fee 
  • Mandatory clinical evaluation for alcohol dependency 
  • Ignition interlock device 

3rd Offense Within 5 Years Of 2nd Offense

If an individual is charged with their third DWI offense within five years, they will face severe penalties, including: 

  • Mandatory jail time, fines
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Community service and probation
  • If convicted of a DWI charge for the third time within five years, the individual may be required to attend an alcohol treatment program and/or complete DUI school. Georgia also imposes an ignition interlock device requirement upon those convicted of DWIs multiple times in a short period.

3rd DUI Within a 10-Year Period 

Penalties for a third conviction within a ten-year period include: 

  • 120 days in jail up to one year in jail 
  • One year probation minus any time served
  • $1,000 up to $5,000 in fines 
  • 240 up to 250 hours of community service 
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
  • Clinical evaluation of substance abuse
  • License suspension 
  • The convicted driver will be declared a habitual violator 

4th or Subsequent DUI Conviction Within 10 Years 

The 4th conviction is a felony if the driver’s previous 4 DWI arrests resulted in convictions. 

Penalties may include:  

  • 1 to 5 years of jail time 
  • $1,000 to $5,000 fines, in addition to mandated probation supervision fees, assessments, and surcharges 
  • 60 days of community service, totaling 480 to 500 hours. A judge can suspend community service hours if the driver is sentenced to three or more years of incarceration. 

The 4th conviction is a misdemeanor if not all four previous DWI arrests resulted in convictions. 

Penalties may include: 

  • 120 days up to 12 months in jail. 
  • 12 months of probation, minus any time served
  • $1,000 up to $5,000 in fines
  • 30 days of community service, or 240 hours up to 250 hours. 
  • Drug use risk reduction program or DUI alcohol program. 
  • License suspension 
  • Possible seizure and forfeiture of a vehicle if the driver has three previous convictions for DUI and is convicted of an additional DUI 

Contact Cambre & Associates Today to Schedule a Legal Consultation

No matter what your DWI situation may be, it is important to remember that DWI convictions can have serious long-term consequences, including jail time and steep fines. If you were arrested for a DWI, speak with a DWI attorney at Cambre and Associates today to schedule a legal consultation. An attorney can help you understand the drunk driving laws and penalties before you take legal action. With an experienced DWI lawyer in your corner, you can protect your rights and fight for a favorable outcome.