Drunk driving is one of the most common criminal charges brought against individuals in Georgia, and it is also one of the offenses that have the highest recidivism rates. Those arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Georgia are often far more likely than those accused of different offenses to end up arrested again for the same type of infraction.
Some reports indicate that individuals with substance abuse issues, including not just drug addiction but also alcohol addiction, experience relapse rates of over 90%. Issues with repeatedly making the same mistake can end up seriously affecting someone’s life after subsequent DUI offenses in Georgia.
Each offense carries increased penalties
The Georgia criminal courts can impose a penalty that fits the circumstances leading to someone’s arrest, as long as the sentence falls within the guidelines established in the state criminal code. A purse DUI could lead to jail time, licensed suspension and large fines.
A second offense will carry the same types of consequences but may result in longer jail sentences and higher fines. Given that each subsequent arrest comes with elevated risk because of the increased possible penalties, those accused of even a first DUI offense may want to explore every option when they respond so that they don’t face a permanent alteration and circumstances.
DUI court could be an option
Those arrested in the Athens area for an impaired driving offense may sometimes qualify to have their cases heard in the Athens-Clarke DUI courts instead of the traditional criminal courts. The local DUI courts have received national recognition for their focus on rehabilitation, making them an excellent alternative for those who would prefer to avoid the escalating penalties and lifetime criminal record that will likely result from entering a guilty plea.
It is often very difficult for those struggling with substance abuse issues to change their behavior on their own, which is why DUI court and a focus on rehabilitative services could be beneficial for someone who recognizes that they may have an issue with their alcohol habits. Mounting an appropriate response to pending DUI charges can help people mitigate the lasting consequences of a recent criminal charge.