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What to expect as a repeat DUI offender

You may not be aware of the severe consequences if you become a repeat DUI offender in the state of Georgia. If the court convicts you of a second or third DUI offense within five years of the first, fines and other penalties will increase significantly.

First offense penalty review

Drivers charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the first time sometimes think they will only have to pay a fine before moving on with their lives. The reality is a bit more involved. The fine you pay will likely be from $300 to $1,000, you will likely need to put in a minimum of 40 hours of community service, you can lose your driving privileges for up to a year and license reinstatement will likely cost you $210. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may also face the possibility of serving up to a year in jail.

What happens with a second offense

With a second offense within five years, you will spend at least 48 hours in jail with the possibility of up to one year. You will pay a fine of at least $600, perform a minimum of 30 days of community service, face license suspension of up to three years and pay $210 for license reinstatement. You must also submit to a clinical evaluation and possible substance abuse treatment program.

Labeled a habitual violator

If you have a third DUI within five years, the state will declare you a habitual violator. The court will take your license plate and send it to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety, and you face five years’ license revocation. Moreover, you will serve a minimum of 15 days behind bars, pay a minimum fine of $1,000 and perform 30 days of community service. In addition to these penalties, the state will have your name, address and photo published in the local newspaper at your expense.

Next steps

The legal process for anyone arrested for DUI involves an arraignment, possibly followed by a court appearance and a hearing with the DMV. If you are facing a second or third DUI conviction, you are looking at serious consequences and will want the most favorable outcome possible for your case.

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