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If you are facing first offense alcohol-related DUI charges in Georgia, you might worry about the penalties you face and how they can affect your future. The possible consequences of your first DUI conviction in the state include jail time, fines, community service, counseling and license penalties. 

Should you lose your license privileges as a result of conviction, there are a few things to know about reinstating your suspended license. 

Length of license suspension

If this is your first DUI offense in five years, then you face a one year driver’s license suspension post-conviction. If your DUI is alcohol-related, you can apply for reinstatement of your license after 120 days suspension. If your DUI is drug-related, you cannot shorten the length of suspension. 

Implied Consent Law

Georgia’s implied consent law mandates automatic suspension of your driver’s license if you refuse a breathalyzer test requested by the arresting police officer. After reading an implied consent notice to you, you must take this post-arrest test otherwise you risk losing your driving privileges for at least 12 months. Additionally, you lose eligibility for a limited driving permit if convicted. 

Requirements for reinstatement

In Georgia, you have ten business days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your license. The hearing is before the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety. If you do not even attempt to contest the suspension, your driving privilege is automatically revoked for a year. 

If the hearing does not go in your favor and your driver’s license is in fact suspended, then to reinstate it you remain suspended for at least 120 days and also complete a state-approved DUI Alcohol Use Risk Reduction Program. After submission of the certificate of completion and paying the fee, you meet the requirements for reinstatement. Different suspension penalties fall on those convicted of drug-related DUI offenses. 

The consequences of even a first time DUI conviction can severely impact your future but there are steps to potentially lessen their effect on you.