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New Georgia DUI laws could make a major impact

New DUI laws went into effect in Georgia on July 1 of this year. Certain individuals accused of DUI will have the option of installing an interlock ignition device (IID) into their vehicle. An interlock ignition device requires drivers to blow into a tube attached to their steering column. If the IID detects the presence of alcohol, the car will not start. Additionally, any positive result for alcohol will be collected and forwarded to the authorities.

What does this new law mean for people accused of DUI?

Under the new law, people who have not had a DUI conviction in the previous five years and do not have a suspended, cancelled or revoked driver's license can apply for an IID. Furthermore, the person applying for the IID cannot have caused an accident involving death or serious injury.

There are additional conditions to getting an IID. First, the person applying for the IID must give up his or her driver's license and pay $25. Any Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holder will not be able to In addition, any person who meets these conditions must apply for an IID within 30 days of receiving notice of an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing. 

How long does someone have to maintain the IID?

The answer to this question is: It depends. People who agreed to submit to a breath test during their DUI arrest will have to successfully comply with the IID for four months. People who refused the IID will have to comply with the IID for one year. It is important to understand that people who apply for the IID can still challenge their DUI charge. In fact, if you submitted to a breath test and are later acquitted of DUI, the IID will be removed without charge. If you did not agree to a breath test, you will have to comply with the IID for the full year.

What are the benefits of this law?

The biggest benefit to this law is allowing people to keep driving, provided they do not drink. This means they can get to work, go to the store, and do other things that are important to them. Their lives will not be impacted as much as they would have been otherwise, and that can help a person take care of their children, keep their job, and do a number of other things that are important to them.

While this new law may help certain offenders minimize the consequences of a DUI conviction, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and provide invaluable assistance throughout the legal process. 

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