Georgia Now Lets Suspended Drivers Use Ignition Interlocks
Ignition interlocks save lives.
More to the point, quick access to ignition interlocks save lives. And Georgia legislators know that. This July a law went into effect that lets DUI offenders who have a suspended license drive – provided they do two things:
- Install an ignition interlock, a device which prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking, and
- Waive their right to an administrative hearing
The new law accomplishes a few goals. First and foremost, it makes the roads of Georgia safer by placing an ignition interlock in the vehicle of a DUI offender, guaranteeing that he or she will not drive that vehicle while impaired. It also speeds up the process for the offender, and frees up court time for other cases.
Of course, waiving an administrative hearing means the offender will not be able to challenge the suspension.
Who Gets a DUI Suspension Waiver in Georgia?
Not everyone with a license suspended for DUI is eligible for the waiver. Certain conditions must be met.
- There must not have been any fatality or serious injury as a result of the DUI
- The person must be licensed in Georgia and have no other suspensions, cancellations, or revocations against his or her license
- A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder must downgrade to a non-commercial license in order to obtain the ignition interlock permit
- There must be no prior DUI convictions in the previous 5 years
There are other provisions that any Georgia DUI offender should read about here.
Not all legislators are convinced that the DUI suspension waiver measure is a good one, and the waiver process might be revisited after a year. The crucial test will be if the law is properly enforced. If the state ensures that offenders who take the waiver option install the ignition interlock, and ensure that those that skip the waiver do not drive while suspended, then alcohol-related collisions and fatality rates will fall in Georgia.
The law is in place – it all comes down to enforcement. With the right commitment, Georgia could see safer roads in the months and years to come, thanks to its adoption of proven anti-drunk-driving technology.