Second DUI arrest in Fulton County, Georgia

By: Erin Dohnalek

In Georgia, sentencing and license consequences get more severe with each new DUI arrest and subsequent conviction. There are mandatory minimum sentences that judges must abide by, and there are required consequences for an accused person’s driving privileges mandated by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services.

The Offense:

According to O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391, a person commits driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when it renders them less safe to drive, the person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within 3 hours after such driving occurred, or there is any amount of an illegal controlled substance present in the accused person’s blood or urine.

The mandatory minimum sentencing for a second DUI conviction, if the first was committed in the 10 years preceding the second arrest for DUI, is at least three days in custody. In Fulton County, that means three days must be served at the Fulton County Jail. There also is a requirement that the accused must complete 240 hours of community service, a substance abuse evaluation plus recommended treatment, DUI school, and a Victim Impact Panel. This is all mandated by Georgia law.

In Fulton County, there are two judges who primarily preside over individuals charged with a second DUI: Judge Edlein and Judge Tailor. Both of these judges are in charge of the Fulton County DUI Court Program. A potential consequence of being charged with a second DUI in Fulton County is that DUI Court is pushed to avoid substantial jail sentences.

License Consequences:

One of the most pressing consequences of a second DUI conviction is a mandatory license suspension. If the accused has had a prior DUI conviction in the last ten years, but not in the last five years, the license suspension will be for a period of 120 days. However, a Georgia driver’s license holder will be eligible for a limited permit during that suspension to allow them to drive to essential locations.

Alternatively, if the accused has had a prior DUI conviction in the last five years, the consequences for his/her driving privileges are severe. The accused will be required to surrender their license, and he/she will have a hard license suspension for 120 days with no eligibility for a limited permit. After the 120-day license suspension is up, he/she will then be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a period of 12 months. After the 12-month period has expired, the accused must continue to drive on a limited permit for two additional months before they will be able to reinstate their permanent driver’s license.

Contact Us:

Due to the severity of the consequences following a second DUI arrest, it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to explain all the possible options for an individual charged with a second DUI, to challenge that arrest in order to avoid some of the direct and collateral consequences of a second DUI conviction, and to advocate for their client’s constitutional rights. Therefore, if you have been arrested for a second DUI in Fulton County, please call our office today at 404-581-0999 for a free consultation.