Georgia residents who have been arrested and convicted for driving under the influence might find themselves facing the same charges again in the future. For those who have been convicted three or more times, a fourth or subsequent DUI charge and conviction will have harsher penalties than the previous incidents. While no one should get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or using drugs, that does not mean that there should be an automatic conviction with the most severe penalties dispensed.
If the person is charged with a fourth or subsequent DUI within 10 years of the prior charges and there were convictions or nolo contendere as a resolution for those charges, there will be a variety of penalties for the latest charge if there is a conviction. There will be a fine of at least $1,000 and a maximum fine of $5,000. The person will be imprisoned for at least one year and up to five years. The jail term can be suspended or the person can be put on probation and get 90 days.
There will be a requirement that the person perform at least 60 hours of community service. However, if the judge sentences the person to three years in jail, the community service can be suspended. It is required that the person take part in a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. There will be a clinical evaluation and possible substance abuse treatment if it is deemed necessary. The person will be given five years of probation. Jail time will be subtracted from the probation.
Continually being arrested for DUI will result in endless problems for Georgia residents as they try to get through the legal system and avoid the worst possible penalties. To retain driving privileges and avoid the penalties for a fourth or subsequent conviction on DUI charges, it is important to understand the available legal options.