Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Georgia. Charges can arise from seemingly innocent circumstances, such as at night out with friends. But throwing back an extra drink could lead to trouble on your drive home. Since the consequences for a DUI are steep, it’s important to understand the charges you will face.

First-time offenders

In Georgia, a single DUI offense will lead to at least 24 hours in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. You may also face up to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service. DUI charges can also cause you to lose your license for up to one year. But you can apply to have your license reinstated after 120 days, so long as you have completed a treatment program and have paid all licensing fees.

Repeat offenders

If you receive a second DUI charge within five years of your first offense, your consequences increase. Instead of a one-year license suspension, you may lose yours for up to three years. You could also spend up to one year in prison and will have to participate in 30 days of community service. Furthermore, the court will mandate that you undergo an evaluation and attend treatment. For a third offense, you will pay a fine of up to $5,000 and lose your license for five years. And a fourth offense is a felony – rather than a misdemeanor – which is punishable by up to five years in state prison.

While a first-time DUI offense may seem insignificant, it will have serious effects on your livelihood. Further arrests will only increase this impact. Consulting with a legal professional can help you work through your charges and chart a path forward.