There are at least a few different methods of counting going on in multiple DUi cases throughout Georgia. DDS will count it as 1st-in-ten for the purposes of re-instatement.
The judge will count it as an "official" 1st-in-ten for the purposes of "statutory" punishments and depending on where the case is being heard, your friend may expect numerous "conditions" placed upon the probated portion of the sentence that would not be present for a true 1st-in-ten.
The prosecutor will not likely be able to remove from his or her mind the fact of the earlier conviction, regardless of it's age, particularly when it comes to negotiating a plea. Somehow, this "similar transaction" evidence just gets embedded and there is an attitude that developes eliminating oportunities for other-wise reducable DUI cases.
There are some wonderful DUI attorneys in the Atlanta area listed on this site. Find one "superb-rated" and hire them.
If you lose your license in Georgia due to a Georgia DUI conviction, you can ask the Department of Driver Services to issue an immediate work permit so you can drive again. Most of the time DDS issues the work permit right away and offers early reinstatement of your full license after 120 days with proof of DUI School and a large fee (remember, the full suspension in Georgia is really one year).
The “DDS look back period” is 5 years. The "mandatory minimum look back period” for subsequent DUI arrests is ten years. Since this arrest will count as a 1st in five, 1st in ten, 2nd lifetime DUI. As long as your friend has a Georgia class C license, he will be eligible for a "work permit" and early reinstatement of his license. If he has a license from another state or if he has a CDL, he will be suspended and/or disqualified for one year. You should let your friend know that the prior DUI conviction is still likely to be used as a factor for enhanced sentencing. He needs to consult an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.