A third DUI charge can have extremely serious consequences to you, your family and your freedom. For starters, the state of Georgia designates you as a Habitual Violator (HV), revokes your license for five years and confiscates your license plates. It is crucial that you contact my office without delay if you have been arrested for DUI and have two prior convictions on your criminal record.
Steep Penalties for A Third Offense
If you are found guilty of a third DUI offense, the judge will sentence you to a mandatory minimum of at least 15 days behind bars, but most jurisdictions require more jail time. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your sentence could be increased to minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 12 months in jail. You may also be required to serve 12 months of probation, less any actual jail time served. If you fail to adhere to the terms and conditions of your probation, you could face increased penalties, including additional jail time.
Additional penalties for a third DUI convictioninclude 240 hours of community service, court fines between $1,000 and $5,000, and a minimum of 17 hours of alcohol rehabilitation treatment. Georgia law also requires you to pay a $25 notice fee to have your picture, name, address and details of your drunk-driving arrest published in your local newspaper.
License Suspended for Five Years
When you are arrested for a third DUI and have either refused to take the breathalyzer test or taken it and tested over Georgia's legal limit, you will be subject to a five-year administrative license suspension imposed by the Department of Driver Services (DDS). The first 24 months are classified as a hard suspension, which means you cannot drive under any circumstances; however, you may apply for a limited permit after this period is over. The six-month installation of an ignition interlock device and completion of DUI School may be required as a condition of your driver's license reinstatement.
When the suspension period is ordered by the court or DDS, you will be required to turn over all of the license plates for your vehicles. In some cases, you may be granted a special tag if a family member is a co-owner or dependent on the vehicle.