A recent report named Georgia the second hardest state in the nation on drunk driving. According to the report, Georgia received a 70 percent ranking for harshness on drunk drivers. Factors used to determine how hard a state is on drunk drivers included evaluating minimum jail sentences, fines and ignition interlock device requirements.

Georgia ranked first in the nation for minimum jail time for a first DUI offense and third for minimum jail time for a second DUI offense. It also ranked first in administrative license suspension. In addition, it ranked sixth in the length of time an older DUI will factor into penalty calculations. Finally, it ranked twelfth for minimum fines for a first DUI offense and eleventh for minimum fines for a second DUI offense.

Penalties for a DUI offense in Georgia can be harsh. Criminally, individuals accused of a DUI face jail time and fines, while administratively they face a suspended license, as well as other potential penalties and consequences depending on the circumstances. DUI charges can also negatively impact the professional and personal lives of an individual accused of driving under the influence.

Because of the potentially harsh penalties and serious consequences associated with accusations of drunk driving and a DUI charge, individuals accused of driving under the influence should be immediately familiar with their criminal defense rights and the options available to them to defend against DUI charges. As is true in any situation involving criminal accusations and charges, police must follow certain procedures and meet certain requirements for the protection of individuals accused of crimes. If they fail to follow proper procedures or violate the rights of an accused individual, it may be possible to challenge the charges and seek a reduction or elimination of the charges.

There are a variety of different types of responses to consider when facing criminal charges, including challenging alleged evidence, negotiations and a range of other potential options. As a result, it is of the utmost importance that individuals accused of a crime, and facing criminal charges, are familiar with their criminal defense rights.

Source: WTVM.com, “Georgia 2nd strictest state on DUI,” Dave Miller, Aug. 10, 2016