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Fines, License Suspensions, Community Service, and Now Boot Locks – Montana Tests New Preventative DUI Measure

Georgia DUI law is relatively strict. For a first DUI conviction, an individual is subject to the possibility of two separate license suspensions, fines ranging from $300-$1000 without court costs, 40 hours of community service, and the prospect of 24 hours to a year in jail. Although it is not a competition, Butte, Montana law enforcement seems to be upping the ante.

As of October 2012, the Butte, Montana Police Department (BPD) will be able, by a judge’s order, to put boots offenders’ cars who have been found driving on a suspended or revoked license resulting from a DUI conviction. The lock can be attached for up to 30 days. While in Georgia offenders driving on suspended or revoked licenses face the threat of jail time and further suspension, or an interlock device for repeat DUI offenders, the BPD sees a boot as a better way to keep dangerous drivers off of the road. Beyond the economic hardship of not being able to drive, offenders with a boot on their car will have to pay a $3 per day fee as well as a $70 installation and removal fee. Though Georgia recently reformed its DUI laws with HB 1176 and SB 236, if it’s shown that Butte’s boot lock lowers DUIs and DUI-related incidents, a similar provision may be enacted in Georgia.

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