2nd DUI in Georgia

Speak with a trusted DUI lawyer in Georgia.

A conviction for a 2nd Dui in Georgia can have potentially severe and long-term consequences. Learn what your options are by contacting Philip Kim Law, P.C.


Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on February 01, 2023.


What Happens if You Get a 2nd DUI in Georgia?

If you are caught operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, prescription medication, or alcohol for the second time in 10 years in Georgia, you could be facing a second DUI charge.

A driver can get a DUI if their blood alcohol level (BAC) is over the legal limit (0.08% in Georgia) or with any drug amount in their system. Sometimes, the driver is considered under the influence even if their BAC is under the limit.

Accumulating two or more convictions for driving under the influence in a short span of time can result in steep penalties and consequences. For second-time offenders, these can include lengthy jail sentences, hefty fees, driver’s license revocation, mandatory courses on drug or alcohol testing or a substance abuse treatment program, community service, and probation.

Considering the seriousness of the potential second DUI penalties, consulting with a DUI lawyer can benefit your case.

What Is the Punishment for a 2nd DUI in Georgia?

Even though punishments may vary based on the specifics of each conviction and subsequent rulings by judges, repeat DUI offenders can expect to face stiff consequences that may severely limit mobility and cost thousands of dollars over extended periods of time.

Usual Sentence for 2nd DUI in Georgia

Since every DUI case is different, no one can tell you exactly which penalties you can expect. Fines, jail time, license suspension for at least 18 months, and other penalties can be expected.

When determining the consequences of a DUI on someone’s diver’s license, Georgia has a 5-year look-back period. However, when determining enhancements in regard to criminal penalties, the look-back period is 10 years.

But, this period is only relevant when it comes to mandatory penalties. In practice, most courts punish DUI offenders based on their entire criminal record.

What Is the Jail Time for 2nd DUI?

While first-offense DUI drivers have to spend at least 24 hours in jail, second-DUI convictions result in harsher jail sentences. For a second DUI offense, drivers should bear in mind that the judge has the discretion to suspend all jail time except for 72 hours which is mandatory.

So, convicted drivers must spend at least 3 days in jail. However, only a few individuals can get such a lenient penalty. Typically, the second DUI conviction in Georgia requires that drivers spend anywhere between 90 days and 12 months in jail.

2nd DUI in Georgia in 5 Years

In addition to typical penalties for a second DUI conviction, if the offense occurred within 5 years, there are additional penalties.

These additional penalties can include the following:

  • License plate confiscation: Offenders are required to surrender the license plates of all vehicles registered to their names to the court. License plates will be reissued after a permit is issued or license suspension is over.
  • Published Photo and Case Disposition – this is published as a legal notice in the county’s local newspaper, and the driver may be responsible for paying.

When it comes to Georgia license suspension, if the offense occurred within 5 years from the date of the prior DUI arrest that resulted in a DUI conviction, a three-year suspension may be imposed by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). In addition, no limited permit for at least 120 days can be obtained.

License reinstatement may be available after 18 months, provided certain requirements are met. These requirements can include completing a clinical evaluation and treatment and DUI Risk Reduction Program or a DUI school, as well as paying a reinstatement fee.

But, if a superior court issues an order waiving the Ignition Interlock Device requirement, these drivers may not be eligible for a limited permit for 12 months after the suspension. After that, they could be eligible for getting a limited driving permit.

2nd DUI in Georgia in 10 Years

Those convicted of a second DUI offense within 5 or 10 years of their first conviction face a harsher minimum jail time and fines than their first DUI charge.

A second DUI offense in 10 years would include the following penalties:

  • Jail time – no less than 72 hours and up to one year
  • Probation of 12 months
  • Fines from $600 to $1,000 plus mandated surcharges
  • Community service for 30 days (240 hours of community service)
  • License suspension for at least 1 year
  • Attending a DUI School
  • Going through clinical evaluation and substance abuse counseling

When someone is charged with DUI drugs in Georgia, the penalties are essentially the same as alcohol-related cases. But, the difference is that those convicted of this offense typically don’t qualify for a restricted license or limited permit.

However, these cases are specific because a driver may also face a drug possession charge under the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. A conviction for Marijuana Possession in Georgia or even possession of any controlled substance can result in a mandatory 6-month driver’s license suspension, provided that is the first drug possession offense. If it’s second, the driver’s license suspension will be longer.

When Can I Get My License Back After 2nd DUI?

Georgia DUI laws require those convicted of DUI to go through a reinstatement process with Georgia’s Department of Driver Services. Reinstating driving privileges after a DUI is often a complex and time-consuming process but can be taken on with confidence with the support of an experienced DUI attorney.

In the past, drivers convicted of DUI twice within five years were not eligible to apply for a limited permit within the first year of their license suspension. However, the Georgia DUI law has now changed, and they can apply for a limited permit, provided the license has remained suspended for 120 days. This period is also called a hard suspension.

Anyone facing DUI charges in Georgia should seek counsel from a DUI defense attorney to ensure their rights are being met and defended.

How Many DUIs Result in a Felony Charge in Georgia?

Although DUI offenses are considered misdemeanors, a fourth or subsequent DUI within 10 years is a felony offense in Georgia. But, even a first or second offense DUI can be charged as a felony if the offense causes death or a serious bodily injury to another person. Hit-and-run cases are also categorized as a felony. 

Can You Get a Commercial Driving License With a 2nd DUI in Georgia?


No. After the first DUI, CDL drivers will usually lose their driver’s license for a year pursuant to Georgia’s DUI law (40-5-151). However, after a DUI second offense conviction, these drivers can face a permanent disqualification of their commercial license.

How Can a DUI Lawyer Help?

A DUI is not available for expungement in Georgia, meaning it will stay on your criminal record forever and appear on background checks. In addition, this offense is not eligible under the 2nd Chance Act in Georgia either. Even though this Act allows for certain misdemeanor and felony convictions to be removed from individuals’ criminal records, it doesn’t apply to DUI convictions.

In Georgia, second-time DUI offenders are dealt with harshly. It is important to know the penalties for DUI offenses so that you are well informed about what you are up against. If you have more questions about how a second offense DUI can affect your life, contact a Gwinnett County lawyer at Philip Kim Law P.C.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About DUI Cases in Georgia

What Are the Penalties for a Second DUI in Georgia?

For those facing a second DUI within a 10-year period, the consequences are severe. Mandatory penalties include at least 3 days of jail time, with possible sentences stretching up to 12 months. Fines can range from $600 to $1,000, not including additional legal costs or fees for mandatory DUI classes.

Is License Suspension Mandatory for a Second DUI?

Yes, license suspension is a definite consequence of a second DUI conviction in Georgia. The suspension period lasts for a minimum of 18 months. In some cases, limited driving privileges may be reinstated after 120 days, contingent on completing a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program and installing an ignition interlock device.

Can a Second DUI Affect My Employment?

A second DUI conviction can have profound implications for your professional life. Employers often conduct background checks and a repeat DUI offense could jeopardize current employment or future job opportunities, especially in roles requiring driving or high security clearance.

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Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
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