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A Glass of Wine or Two at Dinner Could Designate You a Habitual Violator: The Unforgiving Nature of Georgia Child Endangerment DUI Laws

On August 13th a woman was arrested in Florida for DUI on her way to a bar with 8 kids in the car. Their ages ranged from 10 months to 14 years, which means that if she had been arrested in Georgia, in one-stop she would have been charged with a whopping 9 DUIs! The way Georgia’s Child Endangerment DUI Statute works is that if you’re pulled over for DUI with a child under 14 years old in the car, the child endangerment charge is tacked on as another DUI. Under Georgia law, this woman, with one arrest, is a habitual violator subject to felony prosecution and a minimum 5-year license suspension. She would have to pay a fine of $1500-$7500 and if caught driving on her suspended license serve five years in state prison. With the enactment of HB 1176 and SB 236, Georgia DUI law just got a round of reforms and the Child Endangerment Statute was not amended. So, after a couple of beers or glasses of wine with dinner, be mindful of driving your children to a movie or sleepover. A DUI arrest and conviction under such circumstances would mean a designation as a Habitual Violator plus heavy fines and a five-year license suspension. Being caught driving with a Habitual Violator status is a felony and could result in 5 years in jail.

-Author: George Creal