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DUI Penalties for Your First Conviction

DUI Penalties for Your First Conviction

Georgia law controls the minimum DUI penalties for a first conviction.


Each Court will sentence differently but at a minimum state law requires:  (tap for more information)

Jail time for 10 days and possibly up to one year

A first offense for DUI can result in jail time lasting betweeen 10 days and 1 year. The judge can suspend all but 24 hours of the jail time and put you on probation for the remainder of your sentence.

Technically, no jail time is required for a DUI conviction unless there was a BAC of 0.08% or more. In practice, most judges tend to ignore this distinction.

You will be given credit for any time you served in jail after your arrest for DUI. The Sheriff or police agency that runs the jail in the county of your arrest will calculate the time that you have served.

Fine of $300 minimum, up to $1,000

State law requires that the minimum fine for your DUI charge is $300.00. However, each county may add their own fees and surcharges that may raise the total amount of your fine by an additional 50%.

License suspension of up to one year

After a conviction for DUI your driver’s license will be suspended for up to a year. This is not the same as any suspension of your license if you did not participate in the state’s breath test which is discusses in a different post.

You may be eligible for a limited driving permit after waiting 120 days, completing a driving school, and paying a license reinstatement fee.

40 hours of community service, minimum mandatory

State law also requires 40 hours of community service. The specific community service requirements are different in each county. Some counties will allow you to volunteer with any non profit anywhere. Others may require you to perform the community service in the county you were convicted in or from an approved list. Other still may mandate exactly how you perform the service.

$210 license reinstatement fee

This fee is usually paid directly to the department of driver services and is required to reinstate your license if it was suspended.

DUI school

DDS requires that you enroll and attend an approved DUI school. You are responsible for the costs. In order to attend, you must submit to a $100 evaluation and at least 20 hours of instruction costing upwards of $235.

You will likely also have fees associated risk reduction or defensive driving classes. Also, there may be monthly supervision fees while you are on probation.

However, just because these are the maximum DUI penalties, it does not mean this is the likely punishment for your first DUI. Every DUI case is different. There may be specific defenses to your case.  It is important that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Cartersville, Bartow County, Floyd County, Cherokee County, Cobb County, or Paulding County, contact your DUI Attorney at (770) 387-4529.

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