A new DUI law in Georgia means some drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence may use a device that prevents them starting their car if they are drunk.

The device is called an ignition interlock. These gadgets are being used in more and more states and are supported by the pressure group Mothers Against Drunk Driving which claims they have kept 2.3 million drivers off the road nationwide.

Captain Brad Wolfe with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, told Channel 11:

“What the new law is going to do is give first-time offenders the option of using the ignition interlock device and that can alleviate some of the penalties in court, so they can choose to have the device rather than go through a year suspension of their license if they’re found guilty and things like that.”

If your car is fitted with an ignition interlock, you must blow into the device to start the car and then repeat it every few minutes after that.

An ignition interlock

An ignition interlock device

A certain limit will be calibrated into the device. It may be a mere trace of alcohol will trigger the device and disable the car, or it may be a set limit.

In Georgia, you are considered under the influence if your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher. The financial cost of a DUI as well as the cost to a defendant’s career is enormous.

The new ignition interlock law in Georgia allows certain drivers to keep on the road after a DUI, as long as they use a car fitted with the device.

Drivers receive an “Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit. They will waive their right to an administrative hearing over the loss of their license if they opt to have an interlock device and have to have one fitted on any vehicle they intend to drive.

There are certain restrictions on this option, according to Georgia Department of Driver Services. A driver must not have had a prior DUI in the five years leading up to the drunk driving charge to receive an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit.

The cost of an ignition interlock device is not cheap. Defendants pay $100 to install it and have to pay a daily maintenance fee of as well. Over a four-month period it will cost about $400.

A DUI comes with a base fine of about $1,000 for the misdemeanor. A third DUI in 10 years is a high and aggravated misdemeanor with a fine of up to $5,000.
If you have been charged with a DUI or injured by a drunk driver in Georgia please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.