As of January 1, 2013, there are important changes to the DUI Laws in Georgia insofar as second offense DUI's. Those changes are covered in detail on this Georgia DUI Information Website in the Second Georgia DUI Practice Area.
These change have the possibility to fundamentally alter the consequences for our clients charged with a Second DUI in Georgia. The main difference is the possibility of getting a permit to drive after only 120 days, versus the previous law that required a minimum of one years before getting a permit to drive.
However, there is a difference in this change in the Georgia DUI Law. In the past, judges had very little discretion as to whether a person received a permit to drive. In fact most judges would say in court that "it is up to the department of drivers services," as to whether someone could drive and if so, when they could drive. Now, this new change in the Georgia DUI Laws specifically gives the trial judge the discretion to grant a permit to a second DUI driver in Georgia or not.
This discretion will give some uncertainty to our clients because we will not know what the individual judges will be doing for several months. Plus, I fully expect what the judges will do will evolve over the course of the next few years. Eventually, there will be a great deal of consensus among most judges. That will take some time. Plus, there will always be judges that don't follow the trend of other judges.
To our readers, I promise that as I learn about how Georgia Judges interpret this new law, I will update this website with the latest Georgia DUI Information.
Thank you to the readers of the our Information on Georgia DUI website. I look forward to keeping our readers informed throughout 2013.