States have enacted a wide variety of different laws to curb instances of people driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. From the use of mandatory informed consent testing, ignition interlock devices, and strict driver's license penalties to alcohol counseling, these methods have met with varied success.
In Georgia, if you are convicted of a subsequent DUI offense, you may be forced to put a special license plate on your vehicle which identifies you as a recurring DUI offender. If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, an experienced Forsyth County DUI attorney can help you understand the law and fight to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Specialized License Plates
There are currently three states that have special license plates for certain DUI offenders, including our home state of Georgia.
If you are arrested in Minnesota for DUI, and certain factors apply, drivers will get a special license plate consisting of a sequence of numbers and letters. All of these kinds of plates begin with the letter "W" prompting many people in the state to nickname them "whiskey plates."
Minnesotans will face this plate if:
- They had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more, or
- it is the second or subsequent DUI within 10 years.
Easily the most noticeable special license plate of the bunch, if you are convicted of a DUI in Ohio (called a DWI in that state) you are subject to the special plates unless:
- You are a first time DUI offender and
- Your BAC was less than 0.17%.
For everyone else, they are issued a yellow plate with stark red lettering. This is highly visible as compared to normal plates, which are red and white with background lettering. Ohioans commonly call them "party plates."
Here at home, the Georgia legislature orders those who have been convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense within five years to turn in their plates. Their licenses are also suspended. In order to lift that suspension, the convicted driver must either wait until the suspension is lifted, or apply for privileges.
These drivers, if granted driving privileges during their suspension, must put special plates on their cars which bear a special series of numbers and letters. While this license is not the drastically different version employed by Ohio, it is still instantly recognizable to law enforcement.
What's the Big Deal?
A lot of people will never notice that you are driving around with special plates, but you can bet that law enforcement is very aware of it. As a result, you are more likely to face scrutiny for even minor traffic infractions. Not only is this highly inconvenient, traffic violations while under suspension can terminate your limited driving privileges.
It also puts a target on your back for field sobriety and breath testing, both of which are known to be inaccurate. You are also more likely to face increased scrutiny should you run into a DUI roadside checkpoint. This could result in further criminal penalties and the loss of your driving privileges.