A just-released report by the personal-finance website WalletHub shows that Georgia is the second-toughest against drivers who drive drunk.
Their ranking has Georgia coming in at 70% strictness, behind Arizona, at 84%. Alaska was third at 65%.
WalletHub's key metrics range from fines and minimum jail sentences to ignition- interlock -device requirements that drastically reduce repeat arrests of previously convicted drunk drivers.
The DUI Penalty rankings in Georgia are
• 1st – Minimum Jail Time (1st offense)
• 3rd – Minimum Jail Time (2nd offense)
• 6th – How Long Old DUI Factors into Penalties
• 1st – Administrative License Suspension
• 12th – Minimum Fine (1st offense)
• 11th – Minimum Fine (2nd offense)
• 11th – Average Insurance Rate Increase After DUI
"They are getting out and driving with that in their system. Their reaction times were slowed down. They can get lethargic on that. And we see a lot of wrecks involving that," said Sgt. John Van Landingham of the Georgia State Patrol.
Since states first began to crack down on drunk driving in the 1980s, the rate of impaired driving and the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers has dropped considerably. This has saved many lives, as drunk-driving fatalities declined by 57 percent from 1982 to 2014, thus removing motor vehicle crashes from the top 10 causes of death in the United States starting in 2009, according to the NHTSA.