Georgia was recently ranked the second strictest state in the nation for its approach to drunk driving yet lives continue to be lost in these accidents.
Georgia residents have every right to be concerned about the dangers that drunk drivers pose to them. Innocent people are put in harm’s way every time that a person makes the choice to operate a vehicle after consuming alcohol and too many people are injured or even killed as a result of such choices.
Georgia has several ways that it tries to curb drunk driving. Some are preventative and some are punitive but all have the goal of trying to keep people safe. Just how well is Georgia doing in this effort?
Report ranks Georgia second in drunk driving strictness
WalletHub conducted research into how each state and the District of Columbia handles drunk driving. Factors like minimum jail sentences or fines, license suspensions or revocations, sobriety checkpoints, treatment programs and more were reviewed.
In the end, Georgia was found to be the second strictest state overall, following only Arizona. The number two position was held by Georgia for its penalties that convicted drivers face. However, Georgia’s ranking on preventative measures alone put it in the number twenty-two position.
A look at Georgia’s penalties for drunk drivers
Georgia drivers who are convicted of impaired driving may experience a myriad of consequences. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety explains that a first offense might result in fines between $300 and $1,000, license suspension as long as 12 months, community service and even jail time for as long as 12 months.
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes, however, that ignition interlock devices are only required for drivers convicted of second or subsequent offenses. Many states require IID use by first-time offenders.
A look at Georgia’s drunk driving fatalities
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a view into how many deaths occur in Georgia in accidents involving alcohol. Bibb County lost 30 lives in such crashes between 2010 and 2014 alone.
Statewide, 299 fatalities were recorded in both 2010 and 2013. In 2013, 295 deaths occurred. Drunk driving fatalities in 2014 numbered 278 and in 2011 they numbered 271, the lowest of all during these five years. These deaths represent a significant portion of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents across Georgia.
How can Georgia residents stay safe?
There may be no way that Georgia residents can prevent all acts of impaired driving but continued effort is important. This effort may take the form of awareness and advocacy. It may also take the form of the active pursuit of compensation after a drunk driving accident happens. Talking to an attorney for help after an impaired crash is always recommended.