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Drunk Driving

Georgia's New Law For DUI Offenders To Go Into Effect

Jun 30, 2017
Jim Mone / Associated Press

Starting Saturday, some convicted drunk drivers won't be able to start their cars without blowing into a breathalyzer.  

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DUI offenders who had a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher will have to install what's called an "ignition interlock device" in their vehicles.  The unit won't allow a car to start if the person who blows into it is intoxicated.

Lee Coursey / flickr.com/leeco

AAA  and Bud Light are teaming up for another Tow to Go this Cinco de Mayo.

It's a service that provides intoxicated people a safe way home.

“Since 1998, Tow to Go has been able to remove more than 24,000 impaired drivers across the roads in the Southeast.  And that not only protects those drivers, obviously, but also the rest of the motoring public who are trying to get from Point A to Point B safely,” says AAA spokesman Matt Nasworthy.

Tow to Go takes an intoxicated person and their vehicle to a safe location within a 10-mile radius.

Driver being given a breathalyzer test.
miguelrd68 / Special to WABE

Over the last five years, the number of DUI convictions has been dropping, but it’s not clear why.

According to Georgia Health News, it may be connected to more drivers refusing to take sobriety tests.

In Georgia, if an officer pulls you over and asks you to walk in a straight line, stand on one leg or blow into a breathalyzer, you can say no.

If you opt out, your license is suspended for one year, but you get a temporary license while you fight the charge.

Atlanta Police officer on patrol.
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Police Department says it wants to get more drunk drivers off the road with more training. It’s also looking at restructuring the department’s DUI task force.

There are only six officers in the APD’s DUI Task force. They’re trained to detect and deal with drunk and impaired drivers.

Now the Police Department wants to assign DUI officers to each of the city’s six police zones. The idea is that the DUI officers will train other cops in the traffic unit precincts on how to better identify drivers who are under the influence. 

Benjamin Stone / flickr.com/benchilada

  Expect to see more cops than usual on the roads over the next few weeks.

Operation Zero Tolerance kicks off Friday throughout Georgia.

“This is the time of year when you have a lot of holiday parties, and get-togethers where alcohol is a mainstay and we don’t want people to do away with that.  We just want them to plan ahead, designate a driver, get a hotel room,” says Harris Blackwood, with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

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