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Georgia ranks number 2 in states with strictest DUI penalties

Many Georgia residents will be surprised to learn that the state has the second most restrictive driving under the influence laws in the nation. Coming in second only to Arizona, the prosecutors in the Peach State take a hard line when it comes to drunk driving offenses.

Recent statistics on DUI penalties reported by WalletHub, a website devoted to improving consumers' personal finances, indicates that Georgia ranks at 70 percent for overall harsh penalties for those convicted of drunk driving offenses, including an administrative license suspension of one year for a first offense DUI conviction.

The site's metrics included such factors as fines and penalties that include minimum time behind bars to requirements for installing ignition-interlock devices on the vehicle of the convicted drunken driver. Below are some penalties facing those convicted by the Georgia courts.

-- 10 days in jail minimum sentence for a first offense

-- 90 days in jail minimum sentence for a second offense

-- Automatic felony conviction for a fourth offense

-- Mandatory ignition interlock for second conviction

-- Enhanced penalties for those convicted with blood alcohol content above .15

-- "No Refusal" of sobriety tests

-- An average of 47 percent increase on convicted person's car insurance rates

One sergeant with the Georgia State Highway Patrol said of drivers who choose to imbibe and drive, "They are getting out and driving with that in their system. Their reaction times were slowed down. They can get lethargic...[a]nd we see a lot of wrecks."

As one can imagine, a conviction can have an extremely deleterious effect on an otherwise law-abiding person's life, which is why it is imperative for Georgia residents to mount a strong defense against allegations of impaired driving.

Source: WALB, "Georgia 2nd strictest state on DUI," Dave Miller, Aug. 10, 2016