Georgia’s highways cover beautiful stretches of land. Being one of the gems of the south, the highways and byways of the state are traversed by thousands on a daily basis. With a large population and congested highways comes the inevitable, those that chose to operate their vehicles while inebriated. George is no stranger to DWI offenses, they had more than 26,000 arrests in 2008, which resulted in the installation of close to 7,000 Ignition Interlock Devices.
In direct response to the dangers of Driving While Intoxicated, Georgia legislature have (as all lawmaking bodes in the US) instituted stringent DWI laws. The law enforcement agencies in the state are vigilant in their enforcement of these laws and the punitive arm of the statutes is designed to prevent repeat offenses and insure that all commuters on Georgia highways are safe.
First time DUI offenders do not have to have Ignition Interlock Devices installed on their automobile to regain their licenses. Depending on the circumstances behind their arrest, however, a judge does have the option of requiring an IID. For a second action, a person’s license is suspended for three years. If the person has been placed on probation for a drunk driving offense, his or her license may be reinstated after a 120-day suspension period followed by six months’ use of an IID with restricted driving privileges.
For a third or subsequent action, a person’s license is suspended for five years. After two years, that person may be issued a “probationary” driver’s license. If that person is placed on probation for a drunk driving offense, the first six months of probationary driving privileges must be conditioned on the operation of motor vehicles equipped with an IID.
Many drivers involved in fatal alcohol-impaired-driving crashes have been arrested previously for driving while intoxicated (DWI). In 2007, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher in fatal crashes were eight times more likely to have a prior conviction for driving while impaired than were drivers with no alcohol (NHTSA, 2008a). With this information in mind, law making bodies like those in Georgia have decided to add IID regulations to their DUI statutes. IID’s are exceedingly successful at limiting recidivism. Research shows that ignition interlocks, while installed on an offender’s vehicle, reduce recidivism among both first-time and repeat DWI offenders. More than 10 evaluations of ignition interlock programs have reported reductions in recidivism ranging from 50 to 90 percent, with an average reduction of 64 percent while the interlock is installed on the vehicle