DUI driver’s license suspensions in Georgia

Georgia drivers who are convicted of drunk driving offenses may lose the right to drive for a while but reinstatement options may be available.

Drivers in Georgia who are arrested for drunk driving offenses understandably have a lot of questions. They will want to know what they can expect during their defense process, how they can get help, and what consequences they may face if they are ultimately convicted. When it comes to drunk driving charges, one consequence that many people experience is the loss of driving privileges. This usually comes in the form of a driver's license suspension.

How long is a driver's license suspension for a DUI?

The length of time a person's license may be suspended depends on several factors. According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, a first-time DUI can result in a suspension lasting up to 12 months. Second and third offenses can result in suspension up to 36 or 60 months, respectively.

Can reinstatement occur before the suspension period is up?

The Georgia Department of Driver Services indicates that in some situations, drivers may qualify to apply for a license reinstatement before they have served the entire suspension period. People convicted of a first drunk driving offense must wait at least 120 days before making such an application. They must also have completed a special course and pay the required administrative fees.

For second or subsequent convictions, the length of time drivers may need to wait to apply for reinstatement varies based upon other contributing factors. These include any previous mandated suspensions and implied consent violations.

Is an IID required upon reinstatement?

Georgia law does require some, but not all, people convicted of drunk driving offenses to install and use ignition interlock devices. An IID is not required for drivers after a first DUI conviction but is ordered for drivers after a second offense that occurs within five years of the first one. The same is true for drivers convicted of a third offense within five years of the second one.

What other penalties can occur with a DUI conviction?

Drivers convicted of impaired driving offenses may be ordered to spend time in jail, even for a first offense. There are also financial penalties starting at $300 for a first conviction and going up to $5,000 for a third offense. Drivers may need to perform a certain number of community service hours and undergo drug and alcohol evaluations and potentially treatment.

What should an arrested driver do?

After being charged with a drunk driving offense, drivers in Georgia are urged to contact an attorney for help. There are many things that can impact the outcome of a defense and getting proper assistance is important.