If you've been accused of driving while under the influence, you should know that Georgia is one of the highest-ranking states when looking at how stiff DUI penalties really are.
This news comes from a new study that looked not only at all 50 states, but also at Washington, D.C. To determine which states had the toughest laws, the study utilized 15 key metrics. These included things like mandatory alcohol assessment, impound laws, minimum penalties for a first DUI and how potential punishments and jail time changed for a subsequent DUI. The two biggest categories into which these smaller sections fell were prevention rank and criminal penalties.
Overall, Georgia was ranked as the second-strictest state in the nation. The No. 1 spot went to Arizona.
Some reasons for the high ranking included a law saying that a first offender still has to go to jail for a full 10 days if he or she is convicted and one noting that a second conviction increases the mandatory jail time to 90 days. On top of that, those convicted of DUIs in Georgia will lose their licenses for a full 360 days. No state in the country has an initial suspension that is that long.
Plus, police in Georgia are legally allow to use sobriety checkpoints to catch drunk drivers. They also have a program to get search warrants quickly when needed.
As you can see, the ramifications of a DUI are huge in this state, and that's even before considering things like lost wages or employment. If you've been accused of driving under the influence, you have to know all of your legal rights and defense options.
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Georgia is among the strictest states in America on DUI, new report says," Najja Parker, Aug. 10, 2017