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February 2014 Archives

Unrepresented Georgia man to serve 15-year jail sentence for DUI

A 54-year-old man was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for drunk driving. This case may be of particular interest to Athens GA residents, mainly because of the severity of the punishment ordered by the court for this man's DUI offenses. Usually, such lengthy jail sentences are reserved for those accused of intoxication manslaughter after being involved in a fatal car accident.

Helping Athens GA teens avoid underage DUI

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing that almost half of teenagers are drinking alcoholic beverages. Out of those, approximately 65 percent say they participate in binge drinking. With statistics this high, it is no wonder that so many Athens GA teens are getting pulled over by police and charged with underage DUI.

Knowledge is power, especially with DUI statistics

The tests and procedures used to identify a Georgia driver's blood alcohol content are not without their limitations. Indeed, in many DUI cases, an accused individual can succeed in getting a Breathalyzer or blood test thrown out so that it cannot be used as evidence in court. That said, there is no guarantee that this will always work. As such, the best strategy is simply to avoid getting accused of DUI in the first place.

Smart phone apps cannot prevent DUI first offense in Georgia

Many people have likely heard of smart phone applications designed to help prevent DUI violations. However, Georgia residents who have never been arrested and charged with DUI could be in danger of finding themselves charged with DUI first offense if they rely on one of these applications. Indeed, according to one employee of a Georgia sheriff's office, drivers are better off deleting sobriety apps from their phones altogether in favor of drinking more responsibly.

Georgia DUI convicts: Beware of private probation companies

According to a 72-page report compiled by the Human Rights Watch, numerous courts in Georgia and other southern states are contracting private companies to manage people on probation. These companies are managing people who committed reportedly minor offenses, such as DUI or driving without a valid license. Further, it has been suggested that the companies are not subject to proper oversight and regulation. They collect their fees directly from probationers -- who are often poverty-stricken -- rather than receiving the money for their services from the government.

Georgia Court of Appeals approves mandatory DUI blood tests

The Court of Appeals in Georgia recently ruled that police will be permitted to forcibly administer blood tests on those they suspect are driving under the influence of alcohol. In spite of this decision, which seemingly approves of mandatory blood tests, it is important to note that the Court of Appeals does not have the final say on such matters, and the ruling could be appealed to our state's highest court. For now, however, it appears that police have authority to conduct forced DUI blood tests on condition that an on-call judge authorizes a warrant to extract the evidence.

Georgia judge comments on DUI and the state's judicial system

Recently, one of the top judges in Georgia made some comments on the status of the state's judicial system and the access to liberty and justice for all. The judge praised the manner in which specialized DUI courts are helping citizens -- mainly because these courts give judges alternatives to jail time, which can be issued to those who qualify. The judge said that people who complete these alternative programs have a 93 percent chance of continuing their lives without further criminal charges.

How can a DUI charge negatively affect one's career?

Anyone who has ever been accused of DUI in Georgia knows that simply being charged with such a crime can have a number of negative consequences. Indeed, the consequences go beyond any jail time that might be ordered if a conviction is ultimately secured. Many Athens residents have lost their jobs simply because they were accused of DUI. In other words, they were terminated from their jobs before their cases were even heard in a court of law.