With July 1 marking the beginning of the new fiscal year, sweeping policy
changes have been made in states throughout the nation. In Georgia, a
set of 130 new laws officially went into effect yesterday. Among these
many laws come new changes to the ways in which repeat DUI offenders are
required to serve terms of their criminal and driver's license penalties.
As part of the legislative changes affecting
DUI laws, Georgia will now be joining a number of states in increasing efforts
to crack down on those who have been convicted of a multiple DUI offense.
Under the new law that went into effect yesterday, repeat DUI offenders
will now be required to have an
Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle for 12 months. Under old state laws,
repeat DUI offenders were only required to have an IID on their vehicle
for eight months.
Ignition Interlock Devices are essentially breathalyzers installed in a
vehicle. In order to start a vehicle, drivers must first blow into the
IID and prove that they do not have any alcohol in their system. If any
presence of alcohol is detected on a driver's breath, the vehicle
will not start. IIDs are costly to install and remove, and must be routinely
calibrated periodically. As such, they present ongoing expenses to convicted
offenders and can exacerbate many of the severe financial consequences
that come with a DUI conviction.
Under Georgia law, a person can be prosecuted as a
repeat DUI offender if they have a prior DUI conviction on their record
within 10 years of a new arrest. When facing a multiple DUI offense allegation, you can
expect heightened penalties that may include longer terms of imprisonment
and larger fines. Additionally, a fourth DUI offense within 10 years is
prosecuted as a felony in Georgia, thereby imposing harsher criminal penalties.
Georgia's new DUI laws for repeat offenders illustrate a national trend
in harshly penalizing DUI offenders who continue to get behind the wheel
under the influence of drugs of alcohol. While all DUI allegations are
serious crimes, multiple offenses place more at stake than
first-time charges. If you or your loved one is facing a multiple DUI charge – including
a second, third, or fourth felony DUI – do not hesitate to secure
the experienced representation you need to protect your rights and your
future. Speak with an Atlanta DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Howard
J. Weintraub to learn more about multiple DUI charges and penalties and
how our firm can help.