An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is always serious. But after news that two suspected drunk drivers crashed into two different local law enforcement vehicles last month, now might be an even worse time to be driving under the influence in Forsyth County.
According to the Forsyth County News, one driver reportedly rear-ended an Alpharetta Police Department vehicle that was traveling northbound on Georgia State Route 400. Just a few hours later, another driver reportedly crashed into a Forsyth County deputy's vehicle on the same road, causing serious injuries to the deputy. Both drivers are now facing DUI charges and both were described by police as "habitual violators."
Forsyth County DUI Enforcement
Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman issued a stern warning on Facebook in response to the accidents, saying:
It's got to stop, so please heed this warning. I don't want to see you in jail, lose your license, or spend thousands of dollars in fines and fees, but that is exactly what will happen if we find you DUI.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office will also be teaming up with the Alpharetta Public Safety Department in an effort to catch more impaired drivers this holiday season.
What is a Habitual Violator in Forsyth County?
A first DUI in Forsyth County is generally a misdemeanor. The penalties increase dramatically for each subsequent DUI conviction, including longer jail sentences, larger fines, a longer driver's license suspension, and increased community service and treatment program requirements.
If you are arrested for a third DUI in five years, you will be declared a "habitual violator" under Georgia law. A third DUI carries up to a five-year license suspension, in addition to increased jail time, fees, and other penalties. If you are caught driving on a suspended license after being declared a habitual violator, you will face felony charges, which are more serious than misdemeanor charges.
If you are convicted of a fourth DUI, you have committed a felony and could face up to 5 years in prison. If convicted of a felony, you will be incarcerated in a State prison. You will also lose certain citizenship rights, including the right to vote or own a firearm, after your release from prison. In addition, you will likely have trouble getting a job or a professional license for many years after a felony conviction.
Forsyth County DUI Attorney
Given the severe consequences of being declared a habitual violator, it is critically important that you seek experienced legal representation for your DUI case. Even a first conviction for DUI carries harsh penalties, and it can set you on the path to being declared a habitual violator, who may face felony charges for subsequent DUI convictions.
Contact a Forsyth County DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Our team has resolved over 4,600 DUI cases in the last 20 years, and we fight aggressively to defend our clients against DUI charges.