Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently released its 2018 Report to the Nation on the status of the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Georgia received a rating of three out of a possible five stars.
The MADD report uses five rating categories to measure the success of its campaign.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Georgia does not have laws requiring the vehicles of all convicted drunk drivers to have an ignition interlock device. An interlock device is an in-car breathalyzer that will not allow the car to start if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is too high. Georgia got zero stars for this factor.
To get half a star from MADD in this category, a state must have all-offender laws requiring these devices on the vehicles of all convicted drunk drivers. To get a full star, the state must have all-offender legislation and compliance-based removal (CBR) of the devices.
With CBR, the device records every attempt by the driver to drive while impaired. Each attempt tacks on additional time that the device must stay on the vehicle, until the driver goes for a sufficient time period with no impaired attempts.
Georgia not only uses sobriety checkpoints; it also runs them at least once a month. The state earned a full star from MADD in this category.
MADD believes that sobriety checkpoints save lives when the stops are frequent and well-publicized. Checkpoints discourage people who have been drinking from getting behind the wheel. The stops are also a safety net that catches impaired people who choose to drive.
Surprisingly, many states do not use sobriety checkpoints. Conducting the stops will garner a state a half-star rating, and performing them at least monthly gets a full star from MADD. MADD credits sobriety checkpoints with a 20-percent reduction in alcohol-related crashes.
Administrative License Revocation
Georgia has laws that automatically revoke the driver’s license upon the refusal of a breathalyzer or after an arrest for a DUI. This administrative license revocation (ALR) process kicks in automatically, before the driver undergoes a trial. We also make the suspected drunk driver use an interlock ignition device during the ALR period. MADD awarded Georgia a full star for this factor.
Georgia does have enhanced penalties for driving drunk with a child in the car. In this state, that act is a misdemeanor, not a felony. As a result, MADD gave Georgia half a star.
Although many states do have enhanced penalties for this offense, only seven states earn a full star by treating driving drunk with a child passenger as a felony.
Alcohol Test Refusals
When a suspected impaired driver refuses a sobriety test—as about 20 percent do—the police officer has to do extra paperwork, which delays the collection of evidence for the prosecutor to use at trial. Georgia law provides for expedited warrants, but does not criminalize alcohol test refusals or require an interlock device for refusals. Georgia got half a star in this category.
Get Help If a Drunk Driver Caused Your Car Accident
If you suffered injuries in an alcohol-related crash, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, at 404-474-0804, for a free consultation. After we determine liability, we will discuss getting compensation for your losses.