DUI – Second/Third Offense

Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI) Second Offense – 2nd and Subsequent Offenses

When you are charged with a DUI second offense in Georgia, or third offense, the same elements exist, but the possible punishments are more extreme. For your second offense you will serve a mandatory 72 hours in jail.

Criminal Charge in Georgia? Please call (800) 993-5468.
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Call us for a consultation on the charges, and you will get a free case evaluation from an experienced Georgia DUI defense lawyer who knows how to fight second offense DUI charges.

The facts that establish a DUI conviction for a second offense are the same under the law as a first offense DUI. However, at sentencing, you are at risk of much more serious penalties, a longer driver’s license suspension, and a mandatory ignition interlock device when your license is again eligible to be re-instated.

For these reasons, the lawyer you choose and the advice you follow on a 2nd offense charge (or 3rd offense) can be critical to your future and your right to drive.

It may make more sense to fight a DUI at trial on a second offense, since the license loss is so high. But that’s something we’d be happy to discuss with you as part of a free Georgia DUI defense consultation.

Georgia Second Offense DUI Penalties

If this is a second DUI in the past five years you will still be charged with a misdemeanor and face the potential sentences:

  • A fine of $600-$1000.
  • Jail time of 90 days- 1 year. You will serve at least 72 hours in jail.
  • A minimum of 30 days of community service.
  • Completion of an alcohol or drug abuse class, also called Risk Reduction Program.
  • Probation period of 12 months, including time served.
  • Three years driver’s license suspension.
  • A drug and alcohol evaluation to determine if a treatment program is necessary.
  • Your photo will be published in the local newspaper as a DUI offender and you will be charged a fee of $25.

In addition, when your driver’s license suspension has ended (after 3 years), you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in any car or vehicle you drive.

If the clinical evaluation shows that you are in need of drug or alcohol treatment, that will also be a part of your sentence.

Also, remember you will be responsible for the cost of the Risk Reduction Program. Total cost of this program is $280.

Georgia Third Offense Penalties and Subsequent Offenses

If you are being charged with your third (3rd) or subsequent DUI in the past 5 years, you will be charged with a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor and face the potential sentences:

  • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Jail time of 120 days to one year. You will serve at least 15 days in jail.
  • A minimum of 30 days of community service.
  • Completion of an alcohol or drug abuse class, also called Risk Reduction Program.
  • Clinical evaluation and completion of substance abuse treatment.
  • Probation period of 12 months, minus time served.
  • Five years driver’s license suspension.
  • Your photo will be published in the local newspaper as a DUI offender and you will be charged a fee of $25.

If this is your 4th or greater offense, the State of Georgia can take your vehicle!

Can I plea “nolo contendere” (no contest) ?

For a 2nd, 3rd, or subsequent offense DUI charge, there is no distinction between a no contest plea and a guilty plea. Georgia laws on nolo contendere pleas in DUI cases are different than they used to be, and can be confusing. A few things are important to note:

1. Pleading nolo contendere will not “save” your license (this used to be the case prior to 1997).

2. By entering a nolo contendere plea, you will not help your case. Your plea will be treated as a guilty plea (as far as consequences) and you will face the same sentencing.

What if I refuse the breath test?

In Georgia there is a legal presumption that every person has already consented to a breath test, meaning the officer does not have to ask your permission. However, because the officer cannot make you take a breath test, it is your option to refuse it.

*If you refuse your breath test and are later found guilty of DUI, your refusal can add an additional 1 year to the suspension of your license.