Georgia considers driving under the influence to be a serious criminal offense, and it penalizes offenders accordingly. While you may face serious consequences even the first time you receive a conviction for DUI, the repercussions become more severe with each subsequent offense.
Often, the first question those charged with DUI ask is whether they may have to serve time behind bars if convicted. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that, for a first DUI offense, jail time is a possibility. However, whether you wind up serving time may depend on the specific charge you face and the other details of your arrest, among other circumstances. If convicted of drunk driving for a second or third time, though, jail time becomes mandatory.
Jail time following a second DUI
The state considers you a repeat DUI offender if you receive a second conviction for drunk driving within five years of your first one. Under these circumstances, you must spend at least 48 hours behind bars. Depending on the details of your current and past offense, you may have to spend as long as 90 days or even a year behind bars after a second DUI.
Jail time following a third DUI
A third DUI also means mandatory time behind bars, but it may mean a longer sentence than a second offense. If convicted of a third DUI within five years, you must spend, at minimum, 15 days behind bars.
A DUI charge alone does not lead to jail time, regardless of whether you are a first-time or repeat offender. You must only serve mandatory time behind bars for a second or third offense if that DUI charge results in a conviction.