Drinking and driving could cost you anywhere, but it could cost you more in Georgia than nearly every other state, according to a study from the financial services site WalletHub.
The study found Georgia to be the 2nd strictest state when it comes to DUI offenses, behind only Arizona in its aggressiveness in punishing the crime.
To compute the ranking, the site combined 15 different metrics, including minimum jail times, minimum fines, average insurance rate increases after an offense, whether ignition interlock systems (which prevent the car from starting if the driver is intoxicated) are required after conviction, and other measurements.
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Georgia had the strictest jail time and administrative license suspension penalties. Insurance rates also spike an average of 47 percent after a DUI — although that’s still less than many other states. In California, for example, a DUI will more than double your insurance payment, the report found.
The study broke the results into two categories: criminal penalties and prevention. Georgia ranked far higher for the severity of its criminal penalties than for its prevention methods (such as insurance hikes, checkpoints or license suspensions).
Columbus attorney Richard Dodelin Jr. told the Ledger-Enquirer’s Chuck Williams that a DUI in Georgia can cost around $5,000 in fines, attorney fees and other costs.
“But that is not the worst part of it — you can lose your job, and people do every single day,” Dodelin said in the 2016 interview. “And you are going to get your picture in the paper or The Joint before you are ever convicted.”
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE