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How long will your driver’s license stay suspended after a DUI?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Drunk Driving |

Why is driving under the influence (DUI) of either an alcoholic beverage or an intoxicating drug a criminal offense in Georgia? One of the main reasons why it’s a criminal offense is because an inebriated driver endangers everyone on the road with their reckless driving – this includes other drivers, pedestrians and even the drunk driver themselves.

A conviction for DUI leads to criminal penalties such as jail time and fines. But did you know that a court may also serve administrative penalties to convicted drivers? One of these penalties is the suspension of the driver’s license. If you’re facing DUI charges, how long can you expect your license to stay suspended?

Suspension periods based on driver’s offense history

The length of a license suspension for a DUI offense depends on certain factors, but it’s mainly based on the number of prior DUI offenses the person has. Here’s an overview of how it works:

  • First DUI offense: For a first DUI conviction in Georgia, the license suspension period is typically up to 12 months.
  • Second DUI offense: A second DUI conviction within a five-year period can result in a three-year license suspension.
  • Third DUI offense: A third DUI conviction within a five-year period is a high and aggravated misdemeanor and can result in a five-year license suspension.

But while a court can suspend a driver’s license for their DUI offense, a driver may be able to restore some of their driving privileges – with a catch.

Limited driving privileges

It may be possible for a convicted driver to apply for a limited driving permit, which could allow them to drive to work, school, medical care, alcohol and drug treatment programs or other approved activities. As a requirement for this limited reinstatement of driving privileges, a court may require the driver to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their car. This device prevents a car from starting until a driver blows into the device and the IID detects no alcohol from the breath sample.

So, how long will your driver’s license stay suspended for a DUI offense? It depends on the number of prior offenses you’ve committed. However, a suspension can hurt your quality of life, and being asked to participate in an IID program could be costly. Consider your legal options if you face DUI charges. A legal professional may be able to advise you on your case and fight to protect your rights in court.