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Georgia DUI arrests are decreasing. Is that good news?

The number of arrests in Georgia for DUI has decreased by almost half since 2008 -- almost 50,000 according to police departments throughout the state. DUI arrests by Georgia state troopers have been dropping as well. To what can that trend be attributed?

A big factor is the availability of ride-sharing services. Uber and/or Lyft are not available to people in all counties throughout the state. Both services have apps that can be easily downloaded to your phone. Tens of thousands of people throughout the state have done that. While the apps are particularly popular with young people, Georgia residents of all ages are using these services when they know that they'll be going out for the evening and having a few drinks or if they realize that they aren't in any condition to drive home.

One Georgia criminal defense attorney contends that the decrease in DUIs in Georgia is due to "the lack of police on the street enforcing the laws." He says that police departments, particularly in large cities like Atlanta, have to prioritize their resources to handle violent crimes and property crimes as well as emergency situations.

Despite the decrease in arrest rates, Georgia still ranks among the states with the most DUI fatalities in the country. That lends credence to the contention that the decrease in arrests doesn't mean that fewer people are getting behind the wheel when they shouldn't.

A spokesperson for the Governor's Office of Highway Safety says that both the availability of ride-sharing services and the increasingly stretched law enforcement resources are behind the decrease in DUI arrests.

Georgia State Troopers, who issue the most DUI tickets, wrote more than 15,000 last year. That is down 16 percent from two years earlier. The number of troopers on the road also dropped 6 percent over that same period.

Regardless of the statistics, if you find yourself charged with a DUI, it's essential to seek legal guidance. An experienced Georgia DUI attorney can work to challenge the evidence, present your case and seek to mitigate the impact of a DUI on your life.

Source: WSB-TV Atlanta, "DUIs in Georgia drop nearly 50% ... one reason why might surprise you," Richard Belcher, accessed Aug. 31, 2017