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How long does license suspension last after a Georgia DUI?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2024 | DUI

When someone gets arrested for allegedly driving while drunk, the courts have the authority to penalize them in several different ways. Often, a defendant accused of a driving under the influence (DUI) violation might worry mostly about the potential for jail time. They don’t want to spend time in state custody.

 

Others may worry about the financial implications of fines and court costs. Licensing penalties are also a serious issue. A judge can suspend or revoke someone’s driver’s license after a Georgia DUI conviction. Someone without a license may rely on public transportation or expensive rideshare services to get to work or care for their families.

How long might someone be unable to drive after pleading guilty to a DUI?

Someone’s record determines the potential penalties

Most DUI cases involve technical infractions or minor collisions. Penalties can be far worse in scenarios involving aggravating factors, such as someone causing injury to another person or death. If someone is only accused of driving with impaired ability or an elevated blood alcohol level, then the state may pursue standard DUI charges.

Those charges typically result in a lengthy license suspension even if someone has never broken the law before. A first DUI conviction could lead to a year-long driver’s license suspension. After a second DUI within five years of the first, the potential suspension increases to a maximum of three years. A third offense within five years of the second could result in a five-year license revocation. Serving that license suspension could cost someone thousands of dollars and potentially put their career at risk.

In some cases, Georgia drivers convicted of impaired driving offenses can qualify for a hardship license. Acquiring a hardship license is possible after license revocation because the state deems someone a habitual violator.

After someone serves two years of their five-year revocation, they could potentially apply for a hardship license. They must avoid any other convictions for traffic violations during their two-year revocation, must attend certain courses and sign an affidavit affirming that they do not use alcohol or drugs excessively.

Defending against DUI charges is usually better than pleading guilty. Those aware of the possible penalties may see the value in responding assertively to DUI charges.