Second Offense DUI Charges in DeKalb County

Many times people are shocked to learn how much more punishment they face for their second DUI conviction than they did for their first. For example, for a second DUI within five years, there is a required minimum of 240 hours of community service, in contrast to only 40 hours for a first DUI.

The mandatory minimum jail sentence for a second DUI is no less than three days, but typically a person faces about 20 or 30 days. On a first DUI, they are only held for 24 hours. The license suspension for DUI charge is sometimes only four months with a limited permit, however, on a second DUI it is a period of no less than four months with no permit, followed by a breath test machine called an ignition interlock, which is a device that individuals have to have installed in their cars and breathe into before they can start the ignition.

Suffice to say that a second offense DUI is treated more harshly than a first one in DeKalb County, and it is critical that you retain the services of a DeKalb County DUI lawyer if you are facing these charges so they can help build your most robust defense.

Prosecution of Second Offense DUI Charges

Second offense DUI charges in DeKalb County are prosecuted very severely. When a person receives their first DUI charge, it is quite often considered to be an anomaly in this person’s life, but a second DUI charge is a red flag that the driver may have a very serious problem and may actually be considered to be a menace on the roads by many judges, so the charges for second DUI in DeKalb County are prosecuted very aggressively.

Court Treatment of Second Offense DUI Charges

The judges in DeKalb County take second offense DUI charges very, very seriously. DeKalb County is an urban county with many interstate highways going through it. As such, along these busy roads, there are often alcohol-related fatalities that happen and make the news. The prosecutors and the judges seek to reduce this number of fatalities, and one of the ways they do that is by making it clear that if a person is convicted of a second DUI in DeKalb County, they will be punished severely.

DeKalb County second offense DUI charges are heard in the state court of DeKalb County and are prosecuted by the Solicitor General’s Office.

Penalties for a Second Offense DUI

If an individual is convicted of a second charge of DUI, the penalty is varied based on many factors, but primarily on the length of time between the two DUI charges. If it is a second DUI within five years as measured from date of arrest to date of arrest and the driver is convicted, then they face certain mandatory minimum punishments.

Those convicted of a second DUI face a minimum of three days in jail, but in DeKalb County can typically face about 20 to 30 days in jail, a minimum of 240 hours of community service, and a fine between $600 and $1,000 plus surcharges. The person may also face a license suspension of no less than four months followed by 12 months with an ignition interlock device in their car, confiscation of license plates off the car, publication of the person’s picture in the newspaper, and no less than 12 months on probation. Second DUI charges in DeKalb County are prosecuted very vigorously.

Time Between DUI Offenses

If someone is charged with a second offense DUI, one of the things that their lawyer will need to do is to figure out exactly how much time has elapsed between their first DUI arrest and their second DUI arrest. If the second DUI arrest is not more than five years from the day of the first arrest, there are certain minimum penalties that must be set. If the first DUI and the second DUI are more than five but less than 10 years apart, there are lesser penalties that are set by law.

If the two DUIs are more than 10 years apart, the judge who is sentencing the defendant, if they are convicted, can actually treat it as a first offense for license suspension, jail time, and community service purposes. In other words, if it is more than 10 years from the date of arrest to the date of arrest for an individual’s DUIs, the minimum penalties that are required by law are the same as for a first offense. However, many judges will still sentence harsher, but they are not required to by law.


If someone is convicted of a second DUI in DeKalb County, they will be required to spend at least 12 months on probation. This is required in addition to any jail time, community service, or other repercussions that a convicted individual is required to undergo. However, there is no diversion program for a second DUI in DeKalb County. If the prosecutor feels the charge is strong enough to go forward, and they are not willing to reduce it, then the choices are to either plead guilty to the charge or to plead not guilty and demand a trial. There is no diversion program for a DUI in DeKalb County.

However, for second or subsequent offenses, there is a DUI court program, which is a program that focuses more on counseling and supervision and less on jail time. For example, a person convicted of a second DUI in five years in DeKalb County faces typically 20 to 30 days in jail. However, if they go into the DUI court program, that number of days is usually reduced to three days but they are given more counseling and more supervision after the jail time.