NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 28th September 2023, 10:26 pm
DUI While Driving On A Suspended License
Getting a DUI is bad enough, but continuing to drive after your license has been suspended for a DUI is even worse. I know, it can be really tempting to keep driving, especially if you need your car for work or just to get around. But driving on a suspended license after a DUI is illegal and can lead to some pretty serious consequences if you get caught.
Believe me, I get it. When your license gets suspended after a DUI, it can turn your whole world upside down. Suddenly you’ve got no way to get to work, run errands, take your kids to school – it’s a huge pain. But driving on a suspended license will only make things worse in the long run.
The Legal Consequences
Let’s start by looking at what exactly happens legally if you get caught driving on a suspended license after a DUI. The specifics vary a bit by state, but generally:
- The first offense for driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor. In Georgia, you’d have to spend at least 2 days in jail and pay a fine of $500-$1000.
- A second or subsequent offense is a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. For this you’d get at least 10 days in jail and a fine of $1000-$2500.
- On top of any new penalties, getting caught will likely extend the suspension period of your license.
- If you’re caught driving under the influence again while on a suspended license, you’d be looking at a second DUI offense. This means big fines, more license suspension, alcohol education classes, and possibly jail time.
As you can see, the legal consequences escalate quickly if you keep driving on a suspended license after a DUI. Even if it’s your first offense, you’re looking at mandatory jail time. And it goes up from there if you get caught again.
Proving You Knew Your License Was Suspended
In order for these penalties to stick, the prosecution has to prove that you knew your license was suspended when you were caught driving. Seems obvious, right? But sometimes people slip through the cracks, especially if the notice of the suspension got lost in the mail.
To avoid this defense, Georgia will actually send the license suspension notice through both regular and certified mail. So if you get caught driving, it’s pretty hard to claim you didn’t know about the suspension.
Beyond potential jail time and fines, there are other non-legal consequences to consider:
- Insurance rates increase – Once your insurance company finds out you were driving on a suspended license, expect your rates to skyrocket. We’re talking an increase of 100% or more in many cases.
- License suspension gets extended – The DMV does not mess around when it comes to driving on a suspended license. You can expect the original suspension period to keep getting extended each time you’re caught.
- Alcohol classes and treatment – For repeat offenses, you may be ordered to attend alcohol education classes or abuse treatment programs, at your own expense.
- Job loss – Many jobs require a valid driver’s license, so you may end up unemployed if you can’t legally drive.
- Car impound – In some cases, the car you were driving may be impounded for a period of time when you’re caught driving on a suspended license.
As you can see, the non-legal consequences can seriously impact your life and finances. The costs and headaches just aren’t worth it.
Why People Drive on a Suspended License
Even knowing all this, you might be wondering why people take the risk at all. Here are some of the main reasons people drive on a suspended license after a DUI:
- Needing your car for work – This is a big one. Many jobs require driving as part of the responsibilities.
- Can’t afford Uber/Lyft – Rideshare services get expensive if you have to use them daily.
- Have to drive kids to school – Tough to coordinate other transportation for your kids’ schedules.
- Live in an area with poor public transportation – Some cities just aren’t designed for getting around without a car.
- Don’t fully understand the risks – People underestimate their chances of getting caught.
- Feel desperate – When your back’s against the wall, sometimes you make bad choices.
I’m not trying to justify it, just explaining some of the reasons people take this risk. But as you can see, the reasons often come down to necessity, convenience or desperation.
How Can You Avoid Driving Illegally?
Okay, so now that you know all about the consequences, how do you actually avoid driving on a suspended license? Here are some tips:
- See if you qualify for a limited permit – In Georgia, you may be able to get a limited permit for commuting to work or school.
- Use public transportation whenever possible.
- Carpool with a coworker.
- Look into rideshare services like Uber or Lyft.
- See if any local charities offer free transportation services.
- Have friends or family drive you when possible.
- Move closer to work or school temporarily.
- Arrange remote work or telecommuting if possible.
- Delivery groceries and goods rather than driving to stores.
As you can see, there are options out there, even if they’re inconvenient. But anything is better than risking driving on a suspended license!
Ignition Interlock Devices
One option to get limited driving privileges back sooner is through an ignition interlock device. This is a device professionally installed in your car that requires you to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the engine.
If your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit, the car won’t start. These devices prevent drunk driving, allowing you to drive again while serving out your DUI suspension. They aren’t cheap, but may be worth looking into.
Is It Really Worth It?
I know it’s frustrating to have your license suspended. And it’s tempting to just keep driving like nothing happened. But is it really worth risking jail time and all the other consequences?
My advice? Don’t do it. Talk to an attorney about your options. See if you can get a limited permit. Take advantage of public transportation. Do whatever it takes to avoid driving on a suspended license.
A DUI suspension seems endless when you’re in the middle of it. But it does eventually end. And you don’t want to do anything to jeopardize your future ability to have a license. This too shall pass. Be patient, be smart, and don’t drive!
References Georgia DDS – DUI First Offense 21 and Over  Georgia Criminal Defense – License Penalties  DUI.info – Suspended License  Avvo – Penalty for Driving on DUI Suspended License  Justia – Georgia Code 40-5-121  AlcoLock – Risks of Driving on Suspended License