Written by attorney Morris Hugh Wiltshire Jr.



First Offense

If this is a first offense DUI within a ten year period, the following minimum penalites, fines, probation/jail time, and community service apply:

Fine$300.00 -$1000.00 plus any statutory surcharges (typically 15-25%).

Jail 10 days to 12 months, all except for 24 hours may be suspended, stayed or probated.*( as of June 18, 2012 Athens, GA courts sentence to a minimum 48 hours in jail)

If your blood alcohol level is less than 0.08 grams, technically you do not even have to do the 24 hours. Many jurisdictions will require at least 24 hours in jail for any DUI convictions regardless of BAC. All DUI convictions require a minimum of twelve months on probation with credit for any jail time received.

Community Service The law requires a minimum of 40 hours of community service unless you are under 21 years of age in which case you must do at least 20 hours.

License Suspension If this is your first offense within a five (5) year period you will lose your license as follows:

If you are 21 or over, your license will be suspended for one year. You will be able to get your license back at the end of 120* days if you have completed an alcohol/drug risk reduction course (DUI school) and paid the appropriate reinstatement fee. During those 120 days, you will be able to get a limited driving permit. If you are under 21, your license will be revoked for either 6 months (under 0.08 blood alcohol level) or 12 months (0.08 or higher) and no limited permit is allowed.

*If you are convicted of a DUI charge that involves illegal drugs, your driver's license or privilege to drive will be suspended for one year, and you will not be able to get it reinstated for six months. No limited driving permit is allowed.

DUI School You are required to complete DUI School to have your driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia reinstated. If you want to use an out-of-state DUI school, first either contact the Georgia Risk Reduction program at (678) 413-8400, or go to the website at to determine which out of State program will be accepted by Georgia. Out of State program must be at least 20 hours in length and held in a classroom environment (online programs will not qualify). The current cost to attend DUI school is $292.00.

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