Drunk driving is a major problem on the roads of Georgia and across the nation. Though incidents are on the decline, hundreds of thousands of people every year are still injured and killed in car accidents related to drinking and driving. The scary thing is, though, that many people are unfairly charged with DUI every year.
If you’re arrested and charged with drunk driving, it’s important to remember that you have rights. Learn a few fast facts about drunk driving in Georgia, and what to do to protect yourself if you are unfairly arrested and charged with a DUI in this state.
- Drunk Driving in Georgia
Between the years of 2003 and 2012, there were 3,699 deaths related to drunk driving accidents in Georgia. This comes down to 4.9 deaths per 100,000 people amongst males, and 1.2 amongst females. In 2012 alone, among the under 20 population, 1 person per 100,000 dies from drunk driving. Among those 21-34, there were 5.8 deaths per 100,000, and among those over 35, 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people.
Those numbers may not seem like much, but that’s just assuming fatalities. There are tens of thousands of people injured every year in drunk driving accidents, and tens of thousands of arrests for drunk driving. The problem really is severe.
- You Don’t Have to be Drunk to Get Arrested
Another shocking fact—you don’t even have to have a blood alcohol content that exceeds the legal limit of 0.08% to get arrested for drunk driving. If the arresting officer believes that your driving ability is impaired by substance intoxication, regardless of your BAC, you can be arrested.
- You Can Be Arrested for Prescription Medication
DUI doesn’t just refer to driving under the influence of alcohol. It also refers to being under the influence of drugs, which can include prescription medication. Have you ever noticed the warnings on certain medication bottles that you should avoid operating heavy machinery when using? These drugs can affect your ability to operate a vehicle, and you can be arrested for DUI as a result.
- Even Cyclists Can Be Charged
Bicycles count as vehicles under Georgia law. That means that you can be charged with DUI if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and you’re riding a motorcycle on the roadways.
Georgia Drunk Driving Laws
Georgia takes drunk driving very seriously. In fact, your first offense can see you jailed for up to 1 year, paying fines of up to $1,000 and having your license suspended for up to a year. These penalties get worse the more offenses you have. By the fourth offense you can be put in jail for up to 5 years, pay up to $5,000 in fines, and lose your license indefinitely.
Refusing to take a breath or chemical test in Georgia carries penalties as well, under the state’s implied consent law. The first offense for this is loss of your license for up to a year; the second offense is up to 3 years, and the third, up to five years.
Call a DUI Defense Attorney
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and if you’re arrested for DUI in Georgia, especially if you’re not guilty of the crime, call a qualified DUI attorney. The Don Turner legal team may be able to help you reduce or beat a DUI in Georgia. Call our offices for a consultation today.