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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

Why parents are installing ignition interlock devices in cars

Ignition interlock devices are often ordered for people who have been convicted of one or more DUIs in order for offenders to get their driver's licenses back. IIDs are essentially Breathalyzers connected to the ignition that determine whether drivers have alcohol on their breath. If they do, their vehicles won't start.

States that require IIDs for all people convicted of DUIs have seen a significant reduction in drunk-driving fatalities. Some 22 states require them for even first time DUI convictions.

Talk to your kids about drinking before holiday parties begin

As the holiday season rolls around, along with the attendant social gatherings, there will be more opportunities than ever for young people under the legal drinking age to have access to alcohol. Even if they're not exposed to it at parties with friends, teens and even younger kids often get a hold of alcohol from their own homes from bars and kitchens stocked for parties.

Kids who have little or no experience with alcohol can suffer serious physical effects from even a few drinks. Consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period can be fatal. There can be legal ramifications as well. In Georgia, they could face a minor in possession charge for possessing and/or consuming alcohol.

How can energy drinks lead to drunk driving?

Many University of Georgia students, like college students around the country, have come to rely on energy drinks to provide the caffeine they need to stay awake and alert through the night to cram for exams and finish papers. These highly-caffeinated drinks, if overused, can present some health dangers. However, combining them with alcohol, as many students do, can pose particularly serious risks.

Warnings by the Food and Drug Administration in 2010 have largely resulted in energy drinks containing alcohol being removed from the marketplace in the U.S. However, it's easy enough for students to combine alcohol and energy drinks on their own.

Michael's Law now in effect in Georgia

As homecoming week at the University of Georgia unfolds, it's a good time to review a law that took effect this summer that can impact the festivities.

On July 1, Michael's Law went into effect, preventing those who are younger than 21 from being employed as bouncers in bars, among other things. The law was named for Michael Gatto, a student at Georgia Southern University who died in a Statesboro bar after getting into an altercation with a bouncer. The bouncer, who was 20 at the time, was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison.

Can seeking medical amnesty protect you from charges?

One of the major risks of underage drinking is alcohol poisoning. Unlike many seasoned drinkers with years of imbibing under their belts, underage drinkers do not realize their limitations when it comes to illegal consumption of alcohol.

Because they are not supposed to be in possession of alcohol at all, underage drinkers may "chug" their drinks surreptitiously to avoid detection by police, parents or other authorities. This can cause alcohol levels to rise dangerously fast and threaten the young drinkers' lives.

Don't count on an expungement to wipe a DUI off your record

Youthful exuberance often is responsible for some bad decisions, and sometimes the consequences of those bad decisions can have lasting repercussions. As a college town, there is a lot of revelry that goes on in Athens, and some of it involves underage drinking and drinking and driving.

When you are young and carefree, you may think that getting a DUI conviction on your record is not that big of a deal. You may even think that you can wind up getting your record wiped at some future point and it will all be behind you.

Police arrest allegedly drunk, distracted driver

One sure way to draw the attention of police is to zone out in an intersection in your vehicle while checking your phone. If it's in the middle of the night and your headlights are off, you're even more of a sitting duck.

Yet one student at the University of Georgia did just that and wound up arrested for drunken driving. Police spotted him as described above in his SUV in the center of an intersection on the west side of town.

Georgia ranks number 2 in states with strictest DUI penalties

Many Georgia residents will be surprised to learn that the state has the second most restrictive driving under the influence laws in the nation. Coming in second only to Arizona, the prosecutors in the Peach State take a hard line when it comes to drunk driving offenses.

Recent statistics on DUI penalties reported by WalletHub, a website devoted to improving consumers' personal finances, indicates that Georgia ranks at 70 percent for overall harsh penalties for those convicted of drunk driving offenses, including an administrative license suspension of one year for a first offense DUI conviction.

Bulldog football player's second arrest jeopardizes future

If you get charged with driving under the influence it can have life-altering consequences no matter how old you are. But if you are an underage student athlete at the University of Georgia (or for that matter, any school), it can jeopardize the entire trajectory of your future.

That's something that one UGA defensive lineman is learning. Jonathan Ledbetter was arrested in July for the second time since March on alcohol-related charges. His first arrest was for creating a fake ID and attempting to use it to go to a bar, but those charges got dropped.

Is living in a sober dorm a good idea for college students?

Although it's still the height of summer, it won't be long before students will be streaming in to the University of Georgia, ready to begin the fall semester.

Whether you are returning from summer break or about to start your first semester, a number of students — and their parents — make the decision that living in a sober dorm during their college years is a good idea. Could this be a wise option for you or your child?