Atlanta’s Fox Five reported on December 18th, 2013 that Georgia Legislators honored by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving are pushing for alcohol breath testing devices to be required in the ignitions of first-time DUI offenders in Georgia. This proposed law is based upon the fact that of the approximately 1200 traffic deaths reported in the last year in Georgia approximately 300 involved alcohol at or above .01 grams or more or a driver, passenger, or pedestrian. The legal limit in Georgia is .08 grams or more. There is no data on how many of the 300 traffic deaths were first offender DUI drivers. Nationally only 67% of the alcohol fatality number were drivers. Of the 10,000 or so national alcohol-related fatalities, 1700 were passengers, over 1100 of that number were other occupants of other vehicles whatever that means, and over 660 of that number were not even in a vehicle. Almost one-third of the actual fatal drivers over .08 blood alcohol were on motorcycles. The most frequently recorded BAC level among drinking drivers in fatal crashes was .17. Most strikingly 72% of alcohol-related fatalities involved person not wearing their seatbelts.
What this means is there is a little statistical basis for requiring first offender DUI Defendants to have alcohol breath testers installed in their vehicles. All of those first offenders who drive for a living or drive company cars or trucks would be fired. Employees that have to drive for work and truck drivers would request jury trials in almost every case to avoid unemployment. This could push an already overwhelmed and underfunded judiciary to the brink. The money would have to be allocated from parks, roads, speed enforcement, schools, etc. A one hundred pound woman can be over .08 legal limit with as little as two glasses of wine. The only people to gain from a new law requiring alcohol breath testers installed on the first offender DUI Defendants would be the owners of interlock alcohol breath testing devices for car installers and their manufacturers and politicians who need cheap political capital. Don’t believe the hype. Speeding kills more than twice the number of drivers than alcohol-related fatalities and no one is requiring speed governors and jail time for speeders. Texting while driving is more dangerous than driving over the DUI legal limit, but no is requiring smartphone manufacturers to disable the devices when in motion. #hypocritocracy
I have ordered the date for NHTSA to see how many of Georgia’s Alcohol-Related Offenders had previous DUI convictions. To be continued.
– Author: George C. Creal Jr.