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First DUI Offense

What happens when you get your first DUI?

If this is your first DUI, or the only DUI you have had in the last 10 years¹, the following sentencing guidelines and license suspensions apply in Gwinnett County, Atlanta, Fulton County, Barrow County, Hall County:


  • You will receive a minimum sentence of 10 days with a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail.
  • If you register over .08%, all but 24 hours of “actual incarceration” may be suspended at the judge's discretion. If you register below .08% or if you refuse the State's test, jail time is not required by law.¹

License Suspension

If 21 or over and convicted of DUI:

  • One year suspension of your driver's license.
  • You are eligible to apply for a work permit immediately. After 120 days on the wok permit, you may apply for early reinstatement by paying a $210 reinstatement fee and providing proof that you attended DUI school.

If under 21 and convicted of DUI:

  • BAC is above .08% = 12 month suspension.
  • BAC is below .08% = 6 month suspension.
  • No work permit is available if you are under 21 at the time of your conviction.

If convicted of DUI Drugs or DUI Alcohol & Drugs:

  • Your license will be suspended for six months (no work permit available).
  • After six months, you may reinstate by attending DUI school and paying a $210 reinstatement fee.

Administrative Suspension

If you refuse the State's test or if you register above .08%, the Department of Driver Services will attempt to suspend your license immediately. You may appeal this suspension within 10 business days of your arrest (known as the 10-day letter). If this suspension is upheld on a refusal case, your license will be suspended for 12 months without a work permit. The only way to get your license back early is to win your criminal case. If you registered greater than .08%, your license will be suspended for 30 days (work permit available).


Twelve months of probation minus any days actually incarcerated. Georgia requires that misdemeanor probationers be supervised by a private probation company. These companies typically charge probationers between $35 and $44 to supervise their probation.


The minimum fine is $300 and the maximum fine is $1,000. Most judges fine first time offenders $700 to $1000. Additional surcharges add approximately 35% to the fine.

Community Service

If over 21

You will receive at least 40 hours of community service. Some courts require that your community service be served in the Sheriff's Work Detail, or on the Work Alternative Program. These programs require you to perform community service in the county where you received your DUI while dressed in a jail uniform.

If under 21 and BAC less than .08%

You will receive at least 20 hours of community service. If BAC is over .08%, you will receive at least 40 hours of community service.


Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program (DUI School) approved by the Department of Driver Services. Although the law does not require it, judges will often require an Alcohol & Drug Evaluation plus any follow-up treatment as required by the evaluator. Another requirement that judges often add is the Victim Impact Panel. This is a one-time presentation where victims of DUI accidents share their experience regarding how DUI affected their lives.

[¹] From date of arrest to date of arrest.

[²]Judges have a great deal of discretion in crafting sentences. In determining the appropriate sentence, they usually take into account your blood alcohol level, your number of DUI convictions, your behavior toward the officer, and the positive steps that you have taken since your arrest such as completing DUI School.