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What happens during a second or subsequent DUI charge?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | DUI Defense

People can get arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Georgia under a few different circumstances. Police officers may stop them because of poor performance on the road or may demand chemical testing because of someone’s involvement in a collision. Either demonstrable impairment or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test result that is over the legal limit will result in someone’s arrest and likely prosecution for a DUI offense.

Oftentimes, someone arrested for a DUI once is at elevated risk of second and subsequent offenses. There is a strong association between substance abuse issues and repeat DUI offenses, and those who don’t address the underlying cause of their arrest could very well end up arrested again in a similar situation.

What happens when someone has more than one DUI conviction on their record?

The penalties and charges increase

With each DUI charge, possible criminal consequences increase. The charges the state brings against the driver can also become more severe when they have multiple prior DUI offenses on their recent record. The penalties for a first DUI in Georgia include between $300 and $1,000 in fines, 40 hours of community service, up to a year in jail and up to a year without a driver’s license. Although some of the penalties stay the same after a second arrest, many of them increase.

A second DUI within five years of the first will lead to at least 48 hours in jail, up to $1,000 in fines and at least 30 days of community service. The state will also suspend the driver’s license for three years. If someone has a third DUI charge within five years of the second offense on their record, they will face at least 15 days in jail, up to $5,000 in fines and license revocation for five years. A fourth DUI within 10 years will lead to felony charges.

Avoiding early convictions may protect someone later

Given the high risk of a second arrest and the significantly increased penalties someone could face moving forward, fighting back against a repeat – and even a first – DUI charge is often a smart choice. Overall, learning more about DUI laws in Georgia can help people better handle the consequences of a recent arrest.