Watching those blue lights flip on in your rear-view mirror is almost always anxiety-inducing. If your traffic stop leads to a charge for driving under the influence, you may face serious consequences in the days, weeks and months that follow. The consequences become even more severe if it is not your first arrest for drunk driving. Under these circumstances, you may have concerns about potentially having to spend time behind bars.
Jail time is a possibility, but not an absolute, following a first drunk driving offense. However, it becomes mandatory following a second or subsequent drunk driving arrest within the same five-year span.
A second DUI and incarceration
If you receive a second DUI within five years of a first offense, you must spend at least 48 hours behind bars. In some cases, depending on the circumstances surrounding your drunk driving arrest, you may have to spend somewhere between 90 days and a full year behind bars. This comes in addition to other penalties associated with the offense, which include hefty fines, license suspension, community service obligations and more.
A third DUI and incarceration
If authorities arrest you and charge you with drinking and driving for a third time within the same five-year period, plan on spending at least 15 days in jail. You may have to spend a substantially longer stretch of time behind bars, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and DUI charge.
You may receive a DUI in Georgia if you are over 21 and have a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%. If you are under 21, you may face a drunk driving charge if your BAC exceeds 0.02%.