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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

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?

What do you know about college drinking?

If you are a student at a university, chances are quite good that you have had at least some experience with alcohol. Even if you don't drink, it's likely that you have seen roommates or dorm neighbors under the influence or dealing with hangover effects.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 80 percent of students enrolled in college consume alcohol. Of that total, roughly half binge drink.

A DWI conviction has long-term consequences

To be young is to be carefree, and part of the follies of youth means making mistakes. However, when those mistakes include an arrest for driving while intoxicated, the consequences can be far-reaching and serious.

There are possible immediate repercussions for a DWI conviction, which may include fines, jail time, the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and/or the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. All of those are negative and burdensome and should be avoided at all costs.

100 days of summer a dangerous time for teens

Have you heard of the "100 days of summer" between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day? This period has the reputation for being the most dangerous time of year for teenagers who drive.

In one four-year period, over 5,000 motorists and passengers died in collisions with teen drivers during those 100 days, according to AAA said today. One study commissioned by the Foundation for Traffic Safety indicated that almost 60 percent of accidents involving teenagers was tied to distracted driving. AAA stated that in the past half decade, the number of accidents where teen drivers were involved shot up 16 percent eacj day during the 100 days.