If you have noticed more squad cards on Georgia's roadways recently it's because the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) is in the middle of a holiday safe driving campaign, which includes an increased law enforcement presence.
Drunk driving is an extremely dangerous occurrence, in Georgia or elsewhere. Alcohol impairs judgment and slows reaction times. On top of putting one's self in danger, drunk driving endangers other drivers and pedestrians, as well as passengers in the driver's own car. A woman from Gwinnett County was arrested and charged with DUI and child endangerment because she was allegedly driving drunk and had six child passengers. Investigations are currently underway into the validity of the charges and the details of the case.
Georgia authorities typically take the charge of driving without a valid license seriously, especially in the event that an accident with injuries occurs. Recently, police accused a 31-year-old man who was under a driver's license suspension of causing an accident that critically injured an off-duty MARTA police officer. The officer had reportedly been traveling northbound on Moreland Avenue in Atlanta when the 31-year-old driver heading in the opposite direction crossed over into his lane.
There is a move afoot to lower the threshold level for a DUI charge nationally from .08 percent to .05 percent. While each state sets its own standard, the federal National Transportation Safety Board has recommended the action, and it will likely be considered in Georgia as well as other jurisdictions. It took over two decades for the NTSB to convince states to lower the level from .10 percent to .08 percent, which was ultimately accomplished in 1982. Nevertheless, the NTSB argues that lowering the standard may be an important factor in limiting DUI related car accidents.
In the summer of 2012, two tragic fatal boating accidents on Lake Lanier left Georgia stunned. They occurred less than three weeks apart and resulted in the death of three young boys. In the first incident, two brothers were killed by a drunk driver, and five more individuals were hurt. The tragedies have now spawned a new Georgia law to bring the permissible blood alcohol level while driving a boat in line with the state's DUI laws for those operating a motor vehicle on our roadways.
An 18-year-old Athens man was taken into custody after apparently losing control of his car and knocking down a portion of a fence at the North Campus of the University of Georgia. Police are charging him with improper driving and DUI involving drugs. No one was hurt in the accident, which occurred on a weekday a little before 1 a.m.
Earlier this year on our Athens, Georgia, DUI law blog, we had mentioned that as of Jan. 1, two-time DUI offenders may be granted restricted driving privileges in Georgia after having their licenses suspended for 120 days. However, those who are convicted of a second DUI must first complete a substance abuse treatment program and agree to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles for at least eight months in order to be able to drive again shortly after a repeat DUI conviction.
When a drunk driver causes an accident in Athens resulting in serious injuries or death, the driver may be forced to face consequences that he or she never imagined facing.
Parents in Athens and throughout Georgia may have already discussed the consequences and dangers of underage drinking and binge drinking with their kids, but a new report suggests that parents may need to do more than just warn their kids not to drink alcohol until they are legally able to do so.
Before the start of the New Year, we had mentioned on our Athens, Georgia, DUI defense law blog that penalties for convicted drunk drivers would change in the state as of Jan. 1. One change included reducing the number of days repeat offenders must wait before reapplying for a driving permit after having their licenses suspended as a result of a repeat DUI conviction.