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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

License suspensions upheld in wake of implied consent verdict

In March, the Georgia Supreme Court held that the state’s DUI implied consent law is unconstitutional. As we explained in a past post on the ruling, the implied consent law holds that drivers must consent to chemical testing after being pulled over for drunk driving or they lose their driver’s license for at least one year.

Georgia’s highest court ruled that the law is unconstitutional because it violates the Constitution’s protection from unreasonable search and seizures because the suspect who must submit to the chemical testing has not voluntarily consented to waive the right to a warrant being obtained by police before the “search and seizure” takes place.

‘Walking Dead’ actor faces DUI, speeding, drug charges in Georgia

An actor from a popular television show is facing multiple charges after being pulled over in Peachtree City early Sunday morning.

Seth Gilliam, who is known as Father Gabriel Stokes on AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead,” is accused of speeding, reckless driving, marijuana possession and DUI.

Do I get a public defender for my DUI in Georgia?

As you may know, the U.S. Constitution affords citizens who have been accused of a crime the right to be represented by a lawyer. However, the Constitution does not guarantee that a lawyer will be provided for every crime a person is convicted of.

As this article from FindLaw.com explains, the U.S. Supreme Court has further held that individuals who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer on their own will be provided one in all felony cases. Further, the Supreme Court later held that indigent individuals who face "actual imprisonment” must also be afforded a lawyer. 

Georgia’s highest court rules against DUI implied consent law

Many states, including Georgia, have what is called an implied consent law. What the law means is that in obtaining a driver’s license, you consent to taking a chemical test to measure the amount of alcohol in your blood, breath or urine after being lawfully arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

Not only must the officer who arrests you have probable cause to believe that you were drunk driving, the officer must also read you an implied consent notice explaining that if you do not consent to chemical testing then you lose your license to drive for at least one year, and your licenses suspension can be used against you in your drunk driving criminal case.

Can I get a DUI on my bike in Georgia?

This is a commonly asked question that we get, especially from University of Georgia students who want to use their bikes as a way to get home from parties and bars. While one may think that riding a bicycle would be a responsible way to get home after a night of drinking, this isn't the case under the law.

That's because Georgia law treats bicycles the same as other vehicles and the state's DUI law is written for all vehicles, including bicycles. In other words, it is possible to get cited for DUI while on a bike.

FAQs about DUI charges in the state of Georgia

If you have recently been accused of drunk driving in Georgia, you probably have many questions. Of course, the best way to get all of your questions answered is by speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can provide you with advice specific to the facts of your case.

However, today we will be featuring a few frequently asked questions about DUI charges in Georgia here on our blog:

Are DUIs down because more people are refusing sobriety tests?

Earlier this month, it was reported that drunk driving convictions have dropped significantly over the past five years in Georgia, which seems to suggest that fewer people in the state are driving under the influence of alcohol.

While that may be part of the reason, experts say that it likely isn’t the only reason. They point to data showing that the number of drivers who have refused sobriety tests has shot up over the same period of time.

Is a DUI permanently on my record?

The answer to that question is usually "yes" in the state of Georgia, unless the charges were dismissed or you were otherwise not prosecuted.

What that means is that if you plead guilty to a DUI, you will likely have a “criminal record” for the rest of your life. Having a criminal record can stand in the way of getting a job, qualifying for a loan or finding a place to live. 

Georgia police plan Super Bowl drunk-driving blitz

Super Bowl Sunday (and the early morning hours on the following Monday) has become a popular time for Georgia police to crack down on drunk driving. So if you are planning to have a few drinks while watching the game at a party, bar or restaurant, the best way to avoid a DUI is to plan a sober ride home in advance.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety recently issued a press release stating that those who are caught with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more will be arrested and put in jail since Georgia is a zero tolerance state. 

Why personal breathalyzers aren’t more popular

DUI laws across the nation are getting stricter as lawmakers attempt to combat drunk driving fatalities, which appear to be at a standstill in recent years. In fact, The Atlantic reported that a DUI offense can cost up to $20,000 in fines when everything is said and done.

So why do people continue to drive drunk? In many cases, the problem is that people are unaware that they have had too much to drink. They don’t have any intention of driving drunk or hurting anyone, they just are simply unaware that they are over the legal limit to drive.