Second Georgia DUI

Have You Been Arrested for Your Second DUI in Georgia?

A Second DUI in Georgia can be a very serious problem.  You may be facing serious jail-time, drivers license suspension without a limited permit to drive.  You may be forced into a Georgia DUI Court program, which is a forced treatment program supervised by the court. Act quickly to protect your rights and your very freedom.  Georgia DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson uses his more than 25 years of experience defending people charged with DUI in Georgia.  As a Georgia DUI Attorney he has handled more than 5,000 DUI cases. He is a former DUI Prosecutor who knows how to avoid severe Georgia DUI Penalties.  Put his experience to use for you today.


You only have 30 days from the date of your arrest to have your Georgia DUI Lawyer file your appeal.  The 30 day letter is a request for a Georgia ALS Hearing.  At this hearing your attorney will present arguments used to protect your right to drive.  If this hearing request is not made, your license may be suspended for up to one year.  You must act now. If you fail to file this appeal, you will lose your right to challenge the suspension of your drivers license.

Second DUI charges in Georgia offer more severe penalties but are still traditionally treated as misdemeanor offenses. Georgia law demands that a second DUI conviction warrants a required minimum penalty of three days of jail time. Prosecuting attorneys and judges however may give you significantly more jail time upon conviction. It varies widely by jurisdiction, but 10-90 days for a second DUI in a short amount time is not uncommon.

In Georgia, you also will face a driver's license suspension of up to 18 months, most often your sentence will start without a limited permit being made available. In addition, you will likely be subject to the requirement of an ignition interlock device being installed in your car prior to your license being reinstated. The minimum required hours of community service are 240 hours, and DUI School as well as clinical alcohol and drug evaluations and treatment recommendations are also required.

You may also face the required surrender of the license plates of vehicles you own, and may face public scrutiny with your photograph published in local papers. To top it off, fines and fees will also be assessed during the process.  For at least the first 4 months and up to the first 12 months there can be no permit to drive whatsoever.

Common punishments for a second DUI in Georgia can include:

12 - 36 months of probation (depending on whether there are other associated offenses)

Fines of $600 - $1000

90 days to 12 months in jail ( a minimum of 3 days must be served; however few people only get 3 days)

240 hours of community service (30 full, 8 hour days)

License suspension for at least 1 year - As of January 1, 2013 there is the possibility of a limited permit after 120 days if you are in an approved treatment program. This is subject to the approval of the judge in your case.  This is not an automatic right to a permit and is subject to judicial discretion.  The changes in the law will be covered in detail below. See Below.

Ignition Interlock

Surrender of License Plate

17 weeks of Alcohol and drug counseling

Mandatory Treatment

Red Stripe on License

DUI Court Programs - Court Supervised Intensive Alcohol and Drug Treatment

Publication of Photo in the local newspaper at your own expense

Changes in the DUI Law for Second Offenses as of January 1, 2013

As of January 1, 2013 the Second Offense DUI law has been changed.  The changes are a benefit to our clients, with a caveat.  The caveat is that the change allowing limited permits earlier is 100% subject to the decision of the judge in your case.  Unlike other permits that our clients can get, the can decide it without the possibility of appeal.

The summary of the new Law in regards to a Second DUI in Georgia is as follows:

The maximum penalty for a second DUI conviction in Georgia within a 10 year period is 12 months incarceration and a $1,000.00 fine plus court surcharges.  The minimum penalty is 72 hours in jail, with credit for time served after arrest, and a $600.00 fine.  Other mandatory requirements are 30 days (240 hours) community service, DUI school, 12 months probation less any time served in jail, and a clinical evaluation and any recommended substance abuse treatment.

If this is your 2nd DUI conviction within 5 years, you are also required to pay a $25.00 fee to publish a notice of your conviction and your photograph in your county newspaper and surrender the license plates to any vehicle registered in your name.

If this is your 2nd DUI conviction in 5 years, your license will be suspended for a minimum period of 18 months. The first 120 days is a “hard” suspension, and thereafter you can apply for a restricted permit that will allow you to drive for limited purposes conditioned upon the installation of an ignition interlock device for a minimum period of 12 months.  After the period expires requiring an ignition interlock device, you can apply for a limited permit without the ignition interlock device restriction.  You must keep the limited permit for the final 2 months of your 18-month license suspension.

If this is your 2nd DUI in 10 years, and your prior DUI conviction was more than 5 years ago, the Department of Driver Services will consider the conviction as a first offense for license suspension purposes.  Your driver's license or privileges will be suspended for a period of one year.  If a DUI Risk Reduction course has been completed, you will be eligible for full reinstatement of your driver's license after 120 days. You are eligible for a limited driving permit throughout the entire suspension period.

Important changes have been made to Georgia DUI law as of January 1, 2013. The most significant change to Georgia's DUI law is the “hard” license suspension period for a 2nd DUI conviction within 5 years.  Previously, you were not eligible for a limited-use driving permit for the first 12 months of the license suspension period.  Now, under the new law, you become eligible for a limited driving permit after 120 days if you meet certain conditions.  This applies to drivers of all ages, which is significant because previously drivers under the age of 21 were not eligible to apply for any type of limited permit if convicted of DUI.

In order to apply for a limited permit you will have to present a certificate of eligibility from a drug court program or proof of enrollment in substance abuse treatment. A clinical evaluation must be completed prior to enrolling in a treatment program.  The certificate of eligibility from a drug court program is only issued at the discretion of the judge during sentencing.  The judge can decide to not issue the certificate for any reason.

After you are issued a limited permit, you will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for eight months.  Thereafter, the limited permit will be renewable for six-month periods without the ignition interlock device restriction. The judge has discretion to exempt you from the ignition interlock device requirement if he determines that it would cause undue financial hardship.  The cost of installation and maintenance of the device can range from $50 to $150 per month.

An ignition interlock device permit will not be issued until you submit the following documents to the Department of Driver Services:

  • Certificate of completion of Risk Reduction Course (DUI school)
  • Clinical evaluation completion and proof of enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program or proof of enrollment in drug court program
  • Proof of installation of ignition interlock device Certificate of eligibility for limited permit

The ignition interlock device limited driving permit will allow you to drive only to work, school, regularly scheduled meetings for alcohol or substance abuse, monthly monitoring visits with the permit holder's ignition interlock device service provider.

Once the ignition interlock device condition is removed, the limited driving permit will allow you to drive to work, school, and regularly scheduled meetings for alcohol or substance abuse, but also for the purposes of attending court, probation appointments, community service, receiving medical care or treatments or obtaining prescription drugs.  It will also allow you to take immediate family members to work, school, and to medical care and pharmacies if that family member does not hold a valid driver's license.

After an 18-month total suspension period, you will be eligible for early reinstatement of your full driving privileges.  The maximum license suspension period is 3 years if you are not eligible for reinstatement. Reinstatement requirements are as follows:

  • Proof that an ignition interlock device was maintained for period of 8 months
  • Or an order from a court exempting you from this requirement Proof of completion of a substance abuse treatment program (if required by the clinical evaluation)
  • $210.00 reinstatement fee ($200.00 if submitted by mail)

The main effect the change in the law will have on 2nd DUI convictions treated as a first offense for license suspension purposes is the expansion of the permissible uses of the limited driving permit during the 120-day suspension period. If you are 21 or older, you will be eligible for a limited use driving permit during this period that will allow you to drive to work, school, substance abuse counseling, DUI school, and to seek medical care and treatment, and to pick up prescription medications.

As of January 1, 2013, the limited permit will also allow you to drive to court, probation appointments, and community service.  If an immediate family member is unlicensed, you can drive them to work, school, medical care, and to pharmacies to drop off and pick up prescriptions.

For more information about the Penalties for a DUI in Georgia, we keep our website updated daily. 

We can help - Call Now!

If this is your second DUI in Georgia, Contact a Georgia DUI Lawyer today. We are available 24/7, including holidays and weekends.  There are many defenses to a second DUI in Georgia. There are also alternative sentences.  Your case will not defend itself.  Your Best Georgia DUI Defense begins here!

Our Attorneys



    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

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

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!