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How long can a DUI affect someone’s driver’s license in Georgia?

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2023 | Criminal Defense

For many teenagers, obtaining a driver’s license is a crucial rite of passage that helps them feel like an adult. For adults, a driver’s license is often a necessity. Yet, the state considers driving a privilege rather than a right. Therefore, the courts can strip someone of their driver’s license under certain circumstances.

Oftentimes, the scenarios that lead to driver’s license penalties relate to particularly dangerous traffic infractions. Someone accused of a driving under the influence (DUI) offense may already know that licensing consequences are as big of a risk as jail time and fines.

A conviction can cost someone their license

Any driver who pleads guilty or gets convicted of a DUI offense will likely lose their driving privileges. Those with prior offenses face longer suspensions. After a first DUI conviction in Georgia, the judge overseeing the case could suspend the defendant’s license for up to a year.

A second charge within five years of the first will lead to increased penalties, including up to a driver’s license suspension that lasts three years. A third offense within five years of the second could mean a driver’s license revocation that lasts for five years. Second or third offenses that occur after five years have passed will receive the same treatment as a first DUI charge.

The courts can also order someone to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle when they regain their license. Even a first-time DUI conviction could lead to an IID requirement. Not only will someone subject to an IID requirement need to perform a breath test to start their vehicle. They will also have to pay to have the device installed and to maintain and re-calibrate it.

The likelihood of license suspension and the increasing penalties with each subsequent offense could be a strong motivator to inspire someone to defend against Georgia DUI charges. Seeking legal guidance and understanding the possible consequences of a conviction can help people better weigh their defense options after a DUI arrest.