Unlike DUI courts in other Georgia counties, the Fulton County DUI court is struggling to survive. Because of funding the program only takes on 3rd offense DUI suspects and they must volunteer for the program. This means there aren’t many takers which translates to even less funding in a vicious circle.
According to this piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, those people who participate in a DUI court like the one in Fulton County are 3 times less likely to get another DUI conviction than those who go the traditional route.
So why aren’t more people participating?
Well, the DUI court program isn’t easy. It involves Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, treatment, and weekly searches of your home by an officer of the court. When a plea bargain could leave an offender with a few days in jail and a fine, many opt for the latter. This intense program works but only for those people who are willing to work for their own success.
Because all counties are struggling with budget shortfalls, unsuccessful programs are getting cut. This year the Fulton County DUI court will receive no direct funding.
Most second time DUI offenses are sentenced to probation. While probation itself isn’t a walk in the park either, it beats spending days behind bars. For a 2nd DUI conviction you could face 90 days to 1 year in jail. When you are given probation, this sentence is suspended or put on hold.
Many people who commit a DUI don’t commit more than one. Often it is a simple mistake that the person immediately regrets. A first time DUI offense can also carry jail time and fines although it is much less likely that you will serve.
If you are facing DUI charges in Georgia, you need the help of a DUI lawyer to explain all of your options to you. Perhaps there is a DUI court program in your county as well. Call us today so we can discuss your case and the potential outcomes.