Question: I got another DUI, this time in Alpharetta. Now I need an Alpharetta DUI lawyer. I was driving on Old Milton Parkway and it was late and an Alpharetta cop stopped me for speeding. I probably was speeding because it was pretty late and there wasn't much traffic to slow me down. The cop had radar or a laser. It was a lady cop and I was cooperative and I thought she'd let me go, maybe just get a warning.
I told her I'd had a drink or two and she asked me to do some of the tests, like let her look at my eyes and walk a straight line. I did those “drunk tests” or whatever they call them and I don't think I looked bad, maybe a stumble or two, but no falls.
The police officer could smell my breath, I know that, and I did smell like alcohol, but I don't think I smelled like I'd been drinking all night. I don't think I was really drunk and I thought I could drive alright, particularly since I bought a new car last week, a BMW, and those are easy to operate. They handle very well, in my opinion.
I was out with my wife and she had maybe 5 drinks so I didn't want her behind the wheel so I said I'd drive. She also has a DUI on her record; she got hers in Atlanta.
Anyways, the Alpharetta police officer arrested me and took me to the Alpharetta jail and I got a bail bond and got released. And now I'm worried with this being my second DUI, the first was in Florida, about what's going to happen to me and my driver's license, which I need for work and for driving my kids around. What can I expect on a second DUI charge and how bad is it, really? I'd like to know before I go to the Alpharetta court.
P.Z. in Alpharetta, GA
Answer: Thank you for your question. We do have many clients who have multiple DUIs and your questions are frequently raised. Under Georgia law, each subsequent DUI is punished more severely. So it comes as no surprise that a second DUI carries more severe ramifications than a first DUI, and a sentence for a third DUI is yet sterner.
But to give you the best possible answer to your question, we'd want to know the date of your first DUI. Was it more than 10 years ago (as the technical “look-back” period in the Georgia criminal law is 10 years), or was it less than five years ago (as the “look-back” period for your Georgia driver's license is five years)?
Interestingly, because Georgia is composed of many counties and cities, each entity has a wide range of latitude to craft its own sentences. Each county and municipal court can vary slightly (or sometimes not so slightly) in how it sentences for DUI. Sentence conditions like jail time, community service, fines, and probationary period can vary between jurisdictions even for the exact same charge.