People who commit DUIs face steep penalties, and the biggest reason for this is the high cost of their actions: loss of lives. Family members affected by drunk driving are uniting, lobbying Georgia legislators to increase already steep penalties for DUIs. There are three bills pending on the agenda. House Bill 42 will mandate 72 hours in jail for a first-time DUI conviction. House Bill 205 will require ignition interlocks or in-car breathalyzers in vehicles for persons convicted of DUIs so long as either 1) their blood-alcohol levels exceeded .15; or 2) they refused to submit to police for a breathalyzer.
Critics of these bills cite loss of freedom, and potential consequences such as losing jobs. Family members and other supporters of these bills, however, point to the loss of lives as an overriding concern. While these bills have yet to be passed, motorists should be aware of potentially higher consequences if they do decide to drink and drive.