Question: I was given a DUI in Atlanta and I have some questions about my driver's license. It's not my first DUI. I got my first about 3 years ago. That one was also in Atlanta. I got into an accident in Buckhead after a night out with my wife. I work in Midtown and we went to an Atlanta Falcons game and dinner and just had too much to drink. I was pretty buzzed but I really didn't think I was that drunk. Anyway I pled guilty to DUI because my lawyer said that because I blew high on the breath test I would probably be convicted. I get that.
My new DUI happened in Midtown. I was out with some friends from Georgia State and Georgia Tech and I made a bad decision to drive. We tasted some craft beers from local Georgia brewers and I thought I was alright to drive. But the Atlanta cop said I was speeding and pulled me over. It made things worse that I had a suspended license because I forgot about a red light ticket. I took the breath test and I couldn't believe that I blew a .201. I really didn't have that much to drink. I think the shots put me over.
The problem is that I need my driver's license. I'm in sales and I need to drive all over. Sometimes I take out clients. So I need to keep my license. I was told that if you get two DUI's you will have your license suspended. Can I get a limited permit for work if I have a second DUI? I really need to know. Can I delay going to court on this one so I can get a driver's license?
S.C. in Atlanta.
Answer: Unfortunately, if you get two DUI's within five years you face a “hard” suspension. The five years is based upon the incident dates, not guilty plea dates. So if a guilty plea is delayed, it will not affect the driver's license suspension.
Of course, if the DUI charge is reduced to reckless driving, then you will not face a suspension for a second DUI. Or if you are found not guilty of DUI after a trial then you would not have to worry about a suspension.
You may, however, be able to delay your plea (or trial) date and therefore be able to get more time before a suspension. The driver's license suspension period for a second DUI in five years is one year. But you may be able to get your driving privileges reinstated in a shorter period of time.
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