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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

Underage drivers should be taught about the dangers of DUIs

There are many college and high school students who live in or visit Athens, Georgia (Clarke County). Some of them, unfortunately, engage in underage drinking. When they drink and drive, those students may find themselves facing DUI charges and in need of legal defense.

When underage students are wrapped up in the excitement of social situations, they often accept alcohol because everyone around them is drinking. They may not, however, consider the ramifications of drinking for the drive home that they'll need to make later. This results in an extremely dangerous situation that can result in those underage student drivers, their passengers, people in other vehicles and pedestrians getting injured or killed in crashes.

Parents aren't powerless to prevent underage drinking

Underage drinking spikes in the summer as kids have more free time and less supervision. It's also the season when teens are most likely to engage in underage drinking for the first time -- up to twice as many as in other months.

Of course, drunk driving is one of the primary dangers of underage drinking. Almost double the number of teens are killed in crashes between May and August than in other months.

DUI charges can come with criminal and administrative penalties

The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner. This means that there are going to be ample parties going on. If you are going to partake of alcoholic beverages at these parties, make sure that you find a way home before you take that first sip. You don't want your Fourth fun to end with you sitting in a jail cell for drunk driving.

We know that everyone makes mistakes. There isn't any good reason why one mistake should change your life in a dramatic manner. If you are facing charges for driving drunk, there is a very good chance that you are going to face some penalties for this.

What is a hardship drivers license?

For some people convicted of a DUI, in addition to dealing with potential jail time and costly penalties, one of most difficult aspects of their punishment may be the suspension of their drivers license. If you require your vehicle to get to work, school, medical appointments or to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation treatment program, not having a license for months or longer can endanger your ability to make a living, your health and your recovery from substance abuse.

That's why the Georgia Department of Driver Services offers something called a hardship drivers license. Those who qualify for a hardship license can use it to drive to work and/or school and for medical purposes (including to pick up needed prescription drugs). They can also use it to drive to and from any court-ordered treatment.

Know your defense options for an underage DUI charge

Underage drinking is a serious problem, but it isn't something that should be the end of the world for the underage drinker. Many college students choose to ignore the minimum drinking age in an effort to have fun socially and seem more mature. Even though this is common, it is something that must be addressed, especially if the person is drinking and driving.

We know that no college student wants a single mistake to ruin their future. We can help underage drinkers to find ways to address the criminal charges that result from an underage drunk driving charge.

University of Georgia player back on track after arrests

Jonathan Ledbetter, a defensive lineman for the University of Georgia, nearly had his college career, potential football career and possibly his entire life derailed by two alcohol-related arrests.

Ledbetter was arrested in March of last year at an Athens bar for underage drinking and having a fake ID. Because of potential problems with the way the evidence against him was obtained, the charges were dropped.

A DUI could lead to deportation under the new administration

Even a first DUI can have serious legal consequences -- particularly if other drivers or passengers are injured as a result. However, for undocumented immigrants, one DUI could potentially lead to deportation under the Trump administration.

In a recent interview, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly discussed the administration's plans to deport people for criminal offenses that the Obama administration didn't consider serious enough to refer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation proceedings.

Know what to do if you are stopped for impaired driving

Facing charges for driving under the influence or driving while impaired is a very serious matter. If you recall, we recently discussed the case of the driver who was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and the passenger, who happened to play football for the University of Georgia at Athens, also faces charges in connection with the stop.

This case clearly shows that Georgia takes a harsh stance against driving if you have impairing substances in your body. You can face criminal charges for driving after smoking marijuana or using other drugs. In these cases, you need to find a defense option that takes the specific evidence into account.

University of Georgia football player arrested after DUI stop

A University of Georgia football player was arrested earlier this month when the driver of a car he was riding in was pulled over after nearly hitting another vehicle. That driver was charged with DUI marijuana as well as possession of marijuana and failure to yield on a left turn.

Meanwhile, UGA wide receiver Riley Ridley was charged with possession of marijuana. Both the driver and Ridley allegedly had under an ounce of the drug in their possession in plastic bags, which carries a misdemeanor charge. Under UGA athletic policy, Ridley was suspended for one game, since this was his first offense.

Simulator shows students impact of alcohol, texting on driving

With college students on spring break around the country and St. Patrick's Day coming up, Albany State University recently offered a program called Arrive Alive. It uses simulators and other tools to show college students what can happen if they are impaired or distracted while driving.

Of course, drivers of all ages engage in these dangerous activities. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers under the age of 20 are responsible for the highest percentage of distraction-related fatalities.