The state of Georgia carries some of the most severe driving under the influence (DUI) penalties in the nation. This is the reason it is so important for an offender to quickly consult with legal counsel. A DUI arrest does not mean you are guilty. It is the duty of the Prosecutor’s office to prove guilt, and do so unequivocably.
DUI Court is a program that exists to allow first or second time DUI offender’s intervention and alternative options to jail time. It consists of three phases, and a minimum of 12 months. A driver with a first DUI can expect to be sentenced to 12 months of probation, a minimum fine of $300 plus costs, occasionally one to ten days in jail although this can be waived, counseling, community service, driver’s license suspension, and be ordered to attend DUI school and a MADD Mothers Victim Impact Panel.
Subsequent DUI’s can be expected to carry all of the above in higher amounts and lengthier sentences, with the addition of others such as DUI school and installation of an ignition interlock device. DUI Court can be offered up through an offender’s fourth offense, which then becomes a felony and lands the driver on Georgia’s habitual violator list. It is at this point that an offender will face 1-5 years in prison, fines of $1000-$5000, surrender of license plate, convicted felon status, and other punishments including those previously named in earlier offenses.
It is the purpose of Georgia’s DUI Court Program to provide both vocational and educational components alongside substance abuse treatment in hopes that it will prevent future offenses. It is to be used as an alternative to jail, where at all possible, to reduce recidivism and increase quality of life for all involved. Anyone who has been charged with a DUI offense in the state of Georgia can benefit from asking an attorney to help get you into the DUI Court Program.