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During summer, the number of DUI arrests increases

In Georgia, the number of fatal car accidents involving teenagers is 15 percent higher during summer than it is throughout the rest of the year. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, drunk driving figures into a large proportion of these incidents.

As a result, local law enforcement will be setting up DUI checkpoints along state highways, “at various locations that have yet to be disclosed.” The hope, in a sense, is that there will be an increase in arrests, rather than in DUI-related deaths.

Yet this tactic itself presents a problem. Namely, individuals convicted of – or even just charged with – DUI often find themselves suffering unfair punishment. Beyond the legal penalties, many experience difficulties finding work (as a result of having a revoked driver’s license) or suitable housing (as a result of having established a criminal record). Students may have to contend with losing scholarships or federal aid; immigrants to the country fear they will have to face removal proceedings.

The question, then, is how an individual can move past a DUI offense and reclaim control over his or her life.

A DUI doesn’t have to upend your life

Habitual offenders will typically have a tough time avoiding the consequences of a DUI conviction. But judges are often lenient with first-time offenders and, at times, with individuals who demonstrate an authentic desire to avoid future mistakes.

In some cases, those charged may be able to enter diversion programs. These programs function as a sort of probation; individuals must attend a substance abuse course, and are often compelled to undertake some form of community service. If the program is successfully completed, then the charges against the individual are dismissed.

Unfortunately, relatively few courts in Georgia accept DUI offenders into diversion programs. Nevertheless, options remain. Namely, by working with a qualified and experienced attorney, it is possible for individuals to have the charges against them lessened – from a DUI to a reckless driving charge, for example. The benefits of this are substantial. Likewise, lawyers are often able to help individuals obtain provisional driver’s licenses, which is key to keeping a job or being able to fulfill one’s parental responsibilities.

Reach out for help when you need it

As mentioned, the Georgia State Patrol is ramping up its DUI enforcement during the summer months. The best preparation, of course, is to avoid drinking-and-driving – order an Uber or Lyft, or have a friend serve as a designated driver.

But individuals who find themselves in legal trouble should be prepared for the consequences, and understand their options with regard to reducing the penalties they face.

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Norcross, GA 30071

Phone: 770-901-2917
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