Every day in the United States, nearly 30 people die in drunk-driving crashes according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics. DUI crashes caused more than 10,000 fatalities in 2017, amounting to one death every 48 minutes.

Georgia has long been considered one of the strictest states over its DUI laws and a newly released survey puts the Peach State in third place behind Minnesota and Utah. The study also found that stringent DUI laws and penalties do not always result in fewer repeat offenders.

DUI survey focuses on 21 key metrics

The study by a Utah firm comes after the state lowered its legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) from 0.08% to 0.05% in 2018, making it the first and only state to do so. The study looks at a wide variety of factors, including:

  • Number of DUI crashes and arrests
  • Jail time
  • Fines and fees
  • License suspension
  • Added penalties
  • Supplementary laws
  • Fatalities and injuries per 100,000 people
  • Repeat offender laws

Georgia has a high number of injuries from DUI crashes

While the study ranks Georgia in 30th place in DUI fatalities, the Peach State has the fourth-highest number of alcohol-related injuries from drunk-driving wrecks. The study ranks Georgia near the top for jail time, fines, license suspensions and other penalties, which include:

  • Jail time: Minimum of 10 days for a first offense and 90 days for a second offense
  • Fine: $300 for a first offense, $600 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third offense
  • Felony charge: Results after a fourth DUI
  • Previous DUIs: Can factor into penalties for 10 years
  • License suspension: Minimum of six months

Understand your rights if arrested for DUI

A DUI conviction can have life-long effects resulting in jail time, fines, a loss of driving privileges and higher insurance rates, which can double or triple. An experienced defense attorney here in Georgia will make sure officers had probable cause to stop your vehicle and correctly performed field and chemical sobriety tests. A successful defense can result in reduced fines and, in some cases, charges being dropped.