Georgia House Bill 42 is also know as the Jordan Griner Act. The Bill, Proposed by State Representative Earnest Smith as an amendment to Section 40-6-391 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, if enacted, would impose a penalty of at least 72 hours in jail for all convicted first time DUI offenders. As the law presently stands, first time DUI offenders in Georgia could receive:
- A $300-$1,000 fine;
- 40 hours community service;
- Up to 10 days in jail;
- 12 months’ probation, minus any jail time;
- A one-year license suspension, DUI school and a string of work-permit limitations
The intention of mandating that 72-hour jail stay could certainly act as a deterrent for future DUI’s but in some instances, the convicted driver’s issues with alcohol or drug abuse could necessitate treatment that goes above and beyond the “lesson” that jail time teaches or attempts to teach. It’s just not that simple. 3 days in jail is a very long time for the uninitiated and the situation could do more harm than good in other situations, each DUI is a different circumstance.
Certainly, something needs to be done to protect drivers from the multiple DUI offenders who make a habit of repeating this egregious but I am not certain this is a vast improvement over the current laws. That being said, my deepest sympathies go out to the family of Jordan Griner who lost his life to a first-time DUI offender in 2013 and for whom this Bill is named.