Changes to the Georgia DUI Law regarding second offenses

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jan 03, 2013 | 2 Comments

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.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


Rob Miller Reply

Posted Jan 18, 2013 at 16:55:06

I have been issued a limited permit under the new law but have a special Habitual Violator tag on my car. My question is can the police pull me over to find out where I am going soley based on my car tag? Thanks.

Richard Lawson Reply

Posted Jan 18, 2013 at 18:25:15

The short answer is no. The police need articulable suspicion of a crime to pull someone over. The practical and cautionary answer is they will do it anyway. If a police officer follows someone for more than a few minutes, that person will slightly weave or do something erratic thereby “justifying” a pull over of the driver. It’s essentially made up but in Georgia, it’s good enough for our judges. So, if you are restricted in your driving due to an HV permit, I would suggest you stick to the letter of the restrictions. Being charged with HV is a serious felony offense you should not risk. I hope this helps and good luck!!

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