Posted in Atlanta DUI Law on January 31, 2020
Across the nation, it’s illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The phrase “under the influence” can be defined broadly (e.g., having any amount of alcohol in your body) or narrowly (e.g., per se intoxication when BAC exceeds the legal limit of .08 percent). The bottom line, though, is that you can face criminal DUI charges if you get behind the wheel after having a few drinks.
How many people are arrested for drunk driving every year? How common are DUI arrests in Georgia? Where does the state rank in terms of DUI arrest compared to other states in the country? Here’s what you need to know – as well as what you need to do if you find yourself facing charges for DUI in Atlanta.
More Than One Million DUI Arrests Every Year
That’s right – more than one million people in the United States are arrested on drunk driving charges every year. The specific number depends on which agency you ask. The FBI estimates that, in 2016, 1,017,808 people were arrested for driving drunk across the nation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), however, believes there are typically more arrests – somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5 million.
Generally speaking, in an average year, there’s about 1 drunk driving arrest for every 123 drivers in the United States.
DUI Arrests in Georgia
DUI arrests are fairly common in the state of Georgia. In 2017, 17,436 drivers were arrested on a drunk driving charge.
How does Georgia compare to other states when it comes to DUIs? In a recent study of drunk driving arrests nationwide, Georgia found itself almost right smack-dab in the middle. The state ranked 23rd for drunk driving rates. That means 22 states saw more drunk driving arrests per capita than Georgi and 27 saw less.
The study, which analyzed data from the CDC, Department of Transportation, and FBI, found that, in 2018, there were 308.7 DUI arrests per 100,000 people in Georgia.
Drunk Driving Arrests in Georgia – Then and Now
The study also considered short-term and long-term effects on drunk driving arrests in each state. In Georgia, DUI arrests have:
- Increased by 32.4 percent since 2014; and
- Decreased by 12.8 percent since 2009.
2009 actually marked the year in which Georgia saw its highest DUI arrest rate – 398.74 per 100,000 people.
So there, are fewer drunk driving arrests today than there were a decade ago. However, over the past few years, the number of DUI arrests has begun to climb once again.
How Common Are Drunk Driving Accidents in Georgia?
Not everyone who drives under the influence is stopped or arrested. Some make it home unscathed, but many others get into accidents.
In 2017, there were 10,874 drunk driving deaths across the country. About 3.3 percent of those accidents – 366 total – happened in the state of Georgia.
That means that there was an average of one fatal drunk driving accident in Georgia every single day that year.
What Happens If I Get Arrested for DUI in Georgia?
Drunk driving is a factor in nearly one out of every four fatal car accidents in the state of Georgia. So, state lawmakers and law enforcement agencies have made it a point to ramp up efforts to find and arrest drivers who drive drunk and break the law.
If a police officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that you’re driving under the influence, they will stop you. If that officer has probable cause to believe that you’re impaired, they will arrest you.
- Be respectful, calm, and polite when speaking with the police officer(s) that stopped you.
- Provide short, concise answers to the questions you’re asked.
- Don’t provide details or expand on answers.
- Don’t consent to a search of your vehicle or a breathalyzer if you haven’t been arrested.
- Make note of anything that could be used to invalidate evidence or your arrest.
- If you are arrested, ask for your attorney and then exercise your right to remain silent.
- Call a DUI defense attorney in Atlanta as soon as you can.
It’s important to have a qualified defense attorney represent you if you’re arrested for DUI. Your lawyer will be able to help you protect your rights and give you the best chance at beating the charges or, at the very least, securing the best possible outcome.