As the new fiscal year began, so did a crackdown on repeat DUI offenders. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that repeat offenders will be ordered to use ignition interlock devices for 12 months instead of eight, which was required under laws that are now outdated.
The devices require drivers who have been repeatedly arrested for driving under the influence to give breath samples in order to start their vehicles.
New regulations on the state’s HOPE grants have also gone into effect allowing technical college students with a minimum 2.0 grade point average to qualify for grant funding. Thousands of students were barred from applying for the grants when the minimum GPA requirement was raised to 3.0.
Other laws legalized transporting home-brewed beer to home-brewing competitions, and upped the amount of beer that people can brew at home from 50 to 100 gallons annually.
The Legislature also authorized the transferring of the state archives to from the Secretary of State to the Georgia Board of Regents. Funding cuts to the Secretary of State’s office led to speculation of limited public access to the archives. State officials have said funding for the archives has been increased by $300,000, which is expected to translate to increased staffing and more public access.
A state law has also gone into effect banning certain people from charging a fee to remove people’s arrest photos from the Internet. Another law has allowed judges to impose sentences below mandatory minimums for certain offenders in drug and violent crime cases.