States with Strictest DUI Laws

Drunk driving drink keys gavelDriving under the influence causes more accidents in the United States annually than any other factor. On average, it costs the American economy $60 billion in losses. More importantly, it costs thousands of lives a year. In 2013, the last data year, more than 10,000 people were killed in accidents involving alcohol. This includes more than 1,000 children.

Luckily, services like Uber and Lyft have taken a large chunk out of these statistics by offering an affordable alternative to drunk driving. Yet, it is still an issue in our country. That’s why every state has their own set of laws in attempt to prevent drunk drivers. Some are much stricter than others.

National Trends

On average, the first time drunk driver spends a day in jail. However, in Arizona, the minimum sentence is 10 days in jail, the longest in the nation. Second time offenders in West Virginia have it the worst: the minimum sentence is 180 days. While some states have no license suspension requirements, Georgia actually has the strictest, with 12 a month administrative suspension.

Ignition interlock devices are also becoming much more prevalent across the nation. Thirty-eight states require IIDs to be installed after the first DUI, depending on the driver’s blood alcohol content. A few other require them after the second DUI. Only six states never require ignition interlock devices.

Where Georgia Stands

In comparison to the other states and the District of Columbia, Georgia is tied for ninth in DUI law stringency. This includes fines up to $1,000 — on your first and second offense. In addition, depending on the severity of your DUI, you could be behind bars for up to a year on the first and second offense. Of course, penalties only go up from there. On your third offense and beyond, you could face penalties up to $5,000, and your fourth offense could result in jail time up to five years.

Of course, the penalties don’t stop there. You could also face license suspensions. This is what puts Georgia so high up on the strictest laws list. On the first offense, your license is suspended for a year. Second offense is three years, and the third offense is five years. Any subsequent offenses could mean you are never allowed to drive again. In addition, after your first offense, you could find your car equipped with an ignition interlock device. Perhaps worst of all, a DUI offense can never be expunged from your Georgia criminal record. It will follow you forever.

Don’t Face It Alone

While a DUI conviction cannot be expunged, it may be possible to avoid it. A skilled DUI defense attorney may be able to have your case dismissed or otherwise not prosecuted. At the very least, they may be able to have your punishment lessened.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Georgia, don’t face it alone. Call Hawkins Spizman Kilgo today. Your initial consultation is free, during  we will review your case and recommend legal actions.

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