Georgia DUI Penalties

Georgia State Capital Building

Georgia DUI Penalties can be very harsh. You are facing the possibility of losing your license and your freedom. Our office is dedicated to the defense of people charged with DUI In Georgia.  You do not have to face severe penalties for DUI In Georgia. "An arrest does not mean you are guilty."

30 Day Warning:

You only have 30 days to decide to either install an ignition interlock device on your car or file an appeal of the automatic suspension of your driver's license.  Once 30 days has past, there may be no way to save your right to drive.  Call now to make sure we can advise you on the best course of action. Do not make the decision without first consulting with Georgia's Best DUI Lawyers!

For more than 25 years, Georgia DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson has successfully defended drivers charged with DUI throughout Georgia, Metro Atlanta, and North Georgia. As a former DUI Prosecutor, Richard Lawson understands what it takes to defend your DUI, protect your freedom, and protect your right to drive.  We understand how to avoid Georgia DUI Penalties.

Never forget that you may not have to face severe Georgia DUI Penalties. Your case can be defended. At our office, we never assume your guilt. We will investigate your case and look for potential defenses before we will think about the potential penalties in your case. In the event your case cannot be won in court, we will look to limit your punishment and minimize the penalties in your case.

DUI Law is complicated, and it changes all the time.  Those changes can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Our attorneys study all of the changes in Georgia DUI Law and are ready to find all of the available defenses in your DUI case. Your have options, and there is hope.

The key to a good outcome is to understand what our client's need and how the DUI Penalties in Georgia may affect their lives.  

Penalties for DUI in Georgia are related to the number of prior offenses:

When someone has a first DUI in Georgia they face the following potential penalties:

  • 12 months of probation
  • A minimum fine of $300 plus court costs and surcharges
  • Between 1 - 10 days in jail, which many times can be waived 
  • At least 40 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Attendance of the DUI Risk Reduction School (commonly referred to as DUI School)
  • Attendance of a Madd Mothers Victim Impact Panel
  • Drivers License Suspension, with a limited permit to drive 

Click here for more information on the penalties for a First Georgia DUI.

When someone has a second DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • Between 12 - 36 months of probation
  • Fines of between $600 - $1000, plus all applicable surcharges and court costs
  • Between 90 days - 12 months in jail, all of which can be done through probation except for at least 3 days that must be served in jail.
  • 30 days of community service (240 hours)
  • DUI School
  • Driver's License Suspension
  • Red stripe on license
  • Installing of an ignition interlock device, after a "hard license suspension" of 120 days
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Mandatory substance abuse counseling
  • Potential DUI Court, in jurim
  • Photo publication in the legal organ of the county in which the offense occured

Click here for more information on the penalties for a Second Georgia DUI.

When someone has a third DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • Between 12 -36 months of probation
  • Fines of $1000 - $5000, plus all court costs and surcharges
  • 120 days to 12 months in jail, with at least 15 days of actual incareceration (note a third DUI is a high and aggravated misdemeanor)
  • 30 days of community service (240 hours)
  • DUI School
  • Five (5) years of driver's license suspension (with an interlock permit available after two years)
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Photo publication in the legal organ of the accused's home county
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment
  • Declaration of Habitual Violator Status
  • Potential DUI Court, in jurisdictions that have the program

Click here for more information on the penalties for a Third Georgia DUI.

When someone has a fourth DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • A fourth Georgia DUI is a Felony
  • Between 1 - 5 years in prison (less any time served on probation)
  • 10 Years of driver's license suspension
  • Fines of $1000 - $5000
  • 60 days of community service (480 hours)
  • DUI School
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Mandatory counseling for alcohol and drug abuse
  • Photo publication in the legal organ of the defendant's home county
  • Potential DUI Court, in jurisdictions that have the program
  • Status of being a convicted felon for life. 
  • Any other reasonable penalties associated with a felony conviction

Click here for more information on the penalties for a Fourth Georgia DUI.

When someone is a habitual violator in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • Driving while being declared an habitual violator in Georgia is a felony
  • Between 1- 5 years in prison
  • Fines of $1000 - $5000
  • 30 days (240 hours) of community service (unless the sentence is for more than 3 years)
  • DUI Risk Reduction School
  • Clinical Evaluation and treatment as required
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Potential DUI Court or Drug Court
  • Ignition interlock Required to get a permit to drive after at least 2 years of hard suspension
  • Status of being declared a convicted felon for life
  • Potential Probation Revocation because a person charged is likely still on probation for their DUI
  • Any other reasonable punishments associated with a felony conviction

Click here for more information on the penalties for a being charged with driving after being declared a Habitual Violator in Georgia.

When someone has prior DUI Convictions in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • Punishment for drivers who have had prior DUI convictions depends on both the number of prior offenses and the severity of the current offense
  • Georgia has a 10-year "look back" period when determining required enhancements in a person's punishment
  • Georgia has a 5-year "look back period when determining the driver's license consequences of a person's DUI offense
  • Georgia's "look back" period has never prevented a judge or prosecutor from deciding whether to hold a prior offense against someone accused of DUI. The "look back" period only refers to mandatory penalties and punishments.  In practice, most courts punish people based on their entire criminal record, not just the number of offenses in the past five or ten years

Click here for more information on the penalties for having Prior DUI Convictions.

When someone is charged with DUI Drugs in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • The penalties for DUI Drugs in Georgia are essentially the same as alcohol-related DUI cases
  • The main difference is that those convicted of DUI Drugs do not qualify for a restricted license or limited permit

Click here for more information on the penalties for being charged with Georgia DUI Drugs.

When someone is charged with Prescription Drug DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • The penalties for Prescription Drug DUI in Georgia are the same as with any other DUI in Georgia
  • The difference is that people convicted of DUI while impaired by any drug may not qualify for a limited permit or restricted license.
  • The other main difference is that there is often more sympathy for this from of driving under the influence, and as a result, some prosecutors are more flexible in their evaluation of the case

Click here for more information on the penalties for a Prescription Drug DUI.

When a CDL Driver is charged with DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • The penalties for a CDL driver convicted of a DUI in Georgia are the same as any other driver accept insofar as their privilege to operate a commercial vehicle
  • After a first DUI conviction, a CDL driver will lose their commercial license for at least one year
  • After a second DUI conviction, a CDL driver will lose their commercial license for life
  • A CDL holder can get an ordinary limited permit to drive, after a first DUI conviction
  • A CDL holder cannot driver a commercial vehicle with an ordinary limited permit
  • If a CDL license holder elects to install an ignition interlock, under the Georgia administrative license law which requires a decision within 30 days of a person's arrest, he or she cannot drive a commercial vehicle with the interlock device. 

Click here for more information on the penalties when a CDL driver is charged DUI in Georgia.

When someone is charged with DUI Under the Influence of Marijuana, they face the following potential penalties:

  • The penalties for DUI Marijuana in Georgia are the same as for being under the influence of any other drug
  • If convicted on DUI Marijuana in Georgia, a driver will not qualify for a restricted license or a limited license

Click here for more information on the penalties for a DUI Marijuana in Georgia.

There are alternative sentences available depending on your circumstances:

There are Alternative Sentences and punishments when a person is charged with a DUI in Georgia. Unfortunately, only a few jurisdictions allow for diversion or differed adjudication.  It is unfortunate that in today's society we are so unforgiving of someone's one-time mistake.  It is especially sad when dealing with young people who have a great future ahead of them.

DUI Court is technically considered an alternative punishment. However, in practice the only benefit of the program is that participants receive a shorter jail sentence on the front end of their probation.  However, most participants are sanctioned while in the program.  As a result, many people often receive more jail-time, while in the program, than they would have received by taking a plea to more punishment, up front (while avoiding the program).

Unlike in drug court, a person who enters into the DUI Court program still will be convicted of their DUI. Their adjudication is not differed, and it goes into effect immediately. Additionally, a person who entered the program suffers the same driver's license consequences than had they not entered into DUI Court.

We Never Assume You Are Guilty:

The discussion of penalties, when a person is charged with a DUI in Georgia, presupposes that an accused person is guilty of the offense.  Nothing is further from the truth.  The most important thing is to know that the discussion of penalties is the worst case scenario.  We never assume a person is guilty or should have to face Georgia DUI Penalties.

In all cases, we investigation both legal and factual defenses that may apply.  We will also discuss with the prosecutor the possibility of having the case reduced to reckless driving

The point is that no one should assume that he or she will be required to plead guilty to DUI.  Also, sometimes the prosecutor is mistaken as to the number of prior offenses on a person's criminal record.  We are not here to help the prosecution.  If they are mistaken, we will take that advantage; it can mean the difference between freedom and incarceration. 

We Always Seek the Best Possible Georgia DUI Defense:

A successful defense means something different to every client.  For a first time offender, seeking a reduction to reckless driving may be in order.  For a person who has had prior DUI arrests, saving his or her license may be a sign of a successful outcome.  No matter what you need, our staff will do their best to help meet your needs.  No one should fear Georgia DUI Penalties.  We can help!

Act Now - Your Case Will Not Defend Itself:

Contact our office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week  We are always available to help minimize any potential penalties in your case. Remember, you only have 30 days to choose between installing an ignition interlock device or filing an appeal of your license suspension.  No one should make that choice without first consulting with our office.

Do not suffer Georgia DUI Penalties without first calling our office!

Our Attorneys

Recent Case Results

  • This case was in Helen Municipal Court.  The client was charged with a DUI and four counts of DUI Child Endangerment.  In Georgia, for every child under the age of 14 in a vehicle it is considered a separate DUI offense.  The client would have been declared an habitual violator from one arrest an... Read On

  • Client was charged with a suspended license because he did not reinstate his privilege to drive after the expiration of his restricted license.  Per my advice, the client properly reinstated his license the day after he was charged.  Case Dismissed in Cobb County State Court.  Read On

  • Client was a resident of New York who was arrested while he was visiting Georgia for pleasure. He was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, and Speeding 37 MPH over the speed limit. We were able to get the client an unbelievable outcome in Hampton, Georgia. His DUI dismissed, his speeding ticket wa... Read On



    Richard was not the first lawyer I spoke with after my DUI charge, but he was the last when searching for representation. This was my very first time encountering any sort of legal dispute so I had no idea what I was doing and I was very scared. Richard was very friendly, down to earth and consol... Read On

  • Miracle Worker!

    Not only did Richard Lawson and his very capable associate get my DUI reduced to reckless driving with parole, but he did something that I didn't think was possible. I was stopped for a moving violation recently. The police arrested me because they showed my driver's license had been suspended. H... Read On

  • Ideal attorney for anyone

    Mr. Lawson is outstanding. He was professional, attentive to any requests, and got the outcome I wanted but thought was unachievable. I had been arrested for a DUI. The case was very difficult, intricate, and was seemingly without hope, but Mr. Lawson was able to get the charges drastically reduc... Read On


If you are worried about severe Georgia DUI Penalties, call now!  We are here to help you when you need us most!

Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer

When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!