A new bill, House Bill 205, was proposed this month that may amend the current laws to make it mandatory for first-time DUI offenders to install an Ignition Interlock Device on their vehicle. The device acts like a breathalyzer, measuring the person's breath-alcohol level, and also prevents the individual from starting the ignition if their level exceeds the court-ordered limit.
The conditions of House Bill 205 would only require this from offenders who either refused to take a blood-alcohol test, an infraction according to implied consent law, or did take the test and had a result over .15 grams per liter of blood. The legal limit in Georgia still currently stands at .08.
What is implied consent law?
Georgia enforces the implied consent law, which means that anyone who is driving on the public roads and is suspected case of drunk driving must submit to a blood, breath, or alcohol test can be pulled over and tested to see person is over the legal intoxication limit. House Bill 205 is meant to amend the current laws, as currently, installation of an IID is only required for a second or multiple DUI cases.
This penalty is in addition to the state's current DUI penalties:
- Jail sentence for up to 1 year
- Minimum $300 fine, maximum $1, 000
- 120-day license suspension
- $210 fee to reinstate license
- 40 hours of community service
- Completion of DUI school
Currently, there are only about 38 states that require the installation of an IID for first-time DUI offenders. If this bill passes, Georgia will join that list. Organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are huge proponents of the bill, remarking that it could deter the amount of drunk drivers on the road. At the same time, though, the state is reporting that DUI convictions are on the decline, especially in the last five years.
For more developments on this bill, or for legal guidance on other DUI-related matters, contact our Atlanta DUI attorney at The Law Offices of Richard Lawson.