Georgia state law defines driving under the influence as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%. Drivers with lower BAC can receive a DUI charge if they are obviously impaired.

These are the potential penalties a driver faces after a Georgia DUI charge.

Initial DUI conviction

Drivers with no prior convictions for DUI could receive:

  • One-year license suspension
  • Fines of $300 to $1,000
  • Up to one year in jail
  • A mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service

Second DUI conviction

Drivers with a DUI charge from the past five years are subject to:

  • Three-year license suspension
  • Fines of $600 to $1,000
  • A mandatory minimum of 48 hours and up to one year in jail
  • A mandatory minimum of 30 days of community service
  • A mandatory substance abuse evaluation and addiction treatment at your own expense, if necessary

Subsequent DUI convictions

A third or further DUI in the same five-year period carries these penalties:

  • Five-year license suspension
  • Fines of $1,000 to $5,000
  • A mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail
  • A mandatory minimum of 30 days of community service
  • A mandatory substance abuse evaluation and addiction treatment at your own expense if necessary
  • Having your name and photo printed in your local paper as a habitual DUI offender at your own expense
  • Seizure of the vehicle’s license plate

Drivers who refuse a breath test at the scene are subject to additional penalties above and beyond these legal consequences because of Georgia’s implied consent law. Drivers younger than 21 can receive a DUI charge with BAC above 0.02%. The legal threshold for commercial drivers is 0.04%. For an open container in the vehicle, drivers receive another $200 fine. DUI charges when the driver had a child younger than 18 in the vehicle result in an additional charge of child endangerment, which carries a minimum $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.