A bill currently being considered by the Georgia Senate would require anyone convicted of a DUI for the first time to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on any vehicle they drive for six months. Under current Georgia law, only those convicted for a second or subsequent DUI are required to have IIDs, which must remain installed for 12 months.
The legislation (SB 485) has been discussed in committee, However, no action has yet been taken to move it forward. If it passes and is signed into law, Georgia will join the majority of states that require IIDs after first-time DUI convictions.
Safety advocates, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), have been trying to require greater use of these breathalyzer-type devices that prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol on their breath.
One former MADD president, who has been at the Georgia Capitol trying to convince lawmakers to support the bill, said recently that these devices “change the behavior before the party even starts.” He notes that in a state where 375 people died in crashes involving drunk driving in 2018, IIDs are important because, in his words, “Law enforcement can’t be everywhere.”
While IIDs can indeed save lives — including those of people who would otherwise drive under the influence — it can be embarrassing to have to blow in to an IID before you can start your vehicle. There are also expenses that come along with them.
The possibility of having to deal with an IID is just one more reason why it’s smart to consider getting an attorney if you’re facing a DUI charge. They can make sure that there were no improprieties in the way the sobriety tests and the arrest were handled. They can also work to mitigate the consequences of a potential DUI conviction on your life.