Everybody loves to have a good time, but drunk driving is no laughing matter. Statistics from The Center for Disease Control show that one in three traffic fatalities are caused by alcohol-impaired drivers. In the state of Florida, 8476 people were killed in an alcohol-related auto accident from 2003 to 2012, while in Georgia, 3699 people were killed during that same time frame. It is little wonder that both Georgia and Florida have some of the strictest DUI laws on the books and the steepest penalties for driving under the influence. If you have questions about these laws, a reputable car accident attorney may be able to help.

Drunk Driving and Georgia Law

In Georgia, persons under the age of 21 with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .02% or higher are considered impaired, while those over 21 are considered drunk with a .08% BAC. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is .04% BAC. If you are caught, your first offense may get you 24 hours to one year behind bars, a one-year license suspension, and fees between $300 and $1000.

On a second offense, you’ll receive a three-year license suspension, fees starting at $600, jail time up to a year, and the court may install an ignition interlock device, which is a breathalyzer mechanism that won’t allow you to start your vehicle without testing your BAC.

On your third offense, you may be charged up to $5000 in fees, you’ll face up to a year in jail, and lose your license for 5 years. On a fourth offense, your license could be permanently or indefinitely suspended. These consequences are steep enough, but if you cause an accident, even on your first offense, you could end up facing off against a powerful car accident attorney in the courtroom.

Drunk Driving Penalties in Florida

In Florida, your first DUI conviction will get you fines up to $500, as well as 50 hours of community service, up to one year of probation, up to 6 months in jail, a suspended license for 180 days, and mandatory DUI school. The penalties for subsequent offenses are even more severe.

If you have been injured in an alcohol-related crash, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney since you may be entitled to compensation.

Special thanks to Sonny Abesamis for the photo.