According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers.


Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.


New DUI laws went into effect at the beginning of 2013 with the intention of making to roadways safer for all travelers. The time period repeat DUI offenders must wait to reapply for a driving permit was reduced effective Jan. 1. DUI offenders who have been convicted twice must only wait 120 days to reapply for a driving permit; the former law required repeat violators to wait 12 months after the most recent DUI conviction. This shorter waiting period is conditional upon the DUI offender agreeing to install an ignition interlock device on all their vehicles. These devices require the driver to submit breath samples and the engine will not start if the breath registers higher than a pre-programmed blood alcohol concentration level. Georgia law prohibits repeat DUI offenders from operating vehicles that are not equipped with such devices. Repeat DUI offenders must also complete or enroll in a court-approved DUI treatment program.


Another new law requires people who are under 21 years old and charged with DUI to face the same sentencing as those who are charged with DUI and are 21 or older. Formerly, sentencing was different because those under 21 were also in violation of the legal drinking age.


Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to the criminal act of operating an automobile while impaired by alcohol or drugs. While most impaired accidents are attributable to alcohol, impairment from drugs accounts for approximately 18 percent of automobile fatalities. Almost 30 people die in the United States each day in an alcohol-related accident. This calculates to one death every 48 minutes. In 2009, nearly one-third of all traffic-related fatalities were from DUI accidents.


If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.


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