The consumption of alcohol is part of normal life for many adults. Most people drink responsibly and avoid driving after having any alcohol. However, there are times when a person may not realize just how much he or she has had to drink. There may even be times when authorities wrongly accuse people of intoxicated driving.
If you’ve ever faced a DUI arrest here in Georgia, you probably know how seriously the judicial system takes that offense. A conviction can mean jail time, probation, fines or license suspension, not to mention the damage done to your personal and professional reputation. All this might make you think that the Peach State has a high rate of intoxicated driving. However, a recent study shows that may not be the case. So, how do rates of DUI in Georgia compare to the rest of the nation?
Drunk driving rates across the nation
First, understanding what statistics for intoxicated driving around the country look like can give you an easy comparison for Georgia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that each year in the U.S., there are 130 million instances of drunk driving by adults. Each day, 30 people lose their lives to an accident involving drunk driving.
South Dakota is the state with the highest number of DUIs when adjustments for population are made. The lowest is Delaware. Seventy-five percent of DUI arrests are men, and 81% of them are white.
So, where does Georgia fit in?
Georgia is 23rd on the list of states for rates of drunk driving. For every 100,000 people, there are 308.7 arrests for DUI. When only looking at 2014 to 2018, the DUI arrest rate rose by more than 32%. Georgia’s highest year for DUI arrests was 2009. A quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2019 involved an intoxicated person.
Georgia has very strict penalties for DUI conviction. Someone arrested for DUI may automatically have his or her license suspended. This is in addition to the criminal case that could result in a fine, prison sentence or community service. These punishments may be more or less severe, depending on the intoxication level of the convicted person at the time of the arrest and whether he or she has been arrested for DUI in the past.
What to do if you’re arrested for DUI
Though these facts on DUI arrests might make matters seem bleak, there are ways for you to minimize the impact on your life. Consulting an attorney regarding a criminal defense strategy may be your best option. It might give you the best chance at obtaining as favorable an outcome as possible.