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You’ve probably heard it said many times that the law is open to interpretation, and that’s very true. In fact, if everything were black and white, most of our judicial system would be unnecessary. But just how much of the law is left up to interpretation? That’s the question on everyone’s mind when it comes to one recent news story.

Alabama man Madison Turner picked up a hamburger and was eating it on the way to his next destination when he was stopped by a Cobb County police officer. The officer had observed him eating while driving, and as a result, he issued Turner a citation. While the court date at which Mr. Turner can challenge the citation is not until February 3rd, it has left Georgia drivers with many questions: is there really a law against eating while driving? Am I at risk for a citation every time I need to eat lunch on the run? As a Georgia traffic lawyer, in the video below I address your questions and explain the circumstances of the law that Mr. Turner is accused of violating.

As this case demonstrates, there are many circumstances that can affect whether a law (or the spirit of a law) was actually broken. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. My many years of legal experience in various local court systems have equipped me to understand the intricacies of the distracted driving law and other Georgia traffic laws, and to fight for the rights of Georgia drivers. For more intriguing cases and updates to traffic laws, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Your teens and early 20s are a thrilling time: you’re getting ready to start your “adult” life and you’re trying to start off on the right foot as a responsible adult. It may be cliché to say that what happens when you’re young can impact the rest of your life, but it’s true. DUI convictions are no exception to this rule, especially when you’re under 21.

Everyone talks about the potential consequences like jail time and having the conviction on your record, but you have another consideration to keep in mind: finances. Just how expensive can a DUI be? It can reach immeasurable levels because the financial burden comes in one hit after another:

  • Fines – This may be obvious, but DUIs under 21 can carry heavy fines, even up to $1,000 depending on your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
  • DUI school – You may be required to complete a Risk Reduction class, also known as “DUI school.” In Georgia, enrollment in these classes cost over $350.
  • Alcohol Evaluation: You may have to attend and complete an alcohol evaluation and any treatment if recommended. Costs can be anywhere from $150 to over $2000.
  • Missed work or school – DUIs can become very time-consuming very quickly, between attorney meetings, court dates, Risk Reduction classes, and especially court-ordered community service. If you’re working, it’s likely that all these extra time commitments will cause you to miss some time at work. Or, if you’re in school full-time, you’ll likely need to miss some class time or at least some necessary study time, which can eventually result in delayed graduation.
  • Insurance premiums – Because you’re a less experienced driver, your car insurance company already considers you a riskier driver than someone who’s over the age of 21. But with a DUI conviction added to your driving record as well, their risk to insure you increases tremendously, which could cause your monthly premiums to skyrocket.
  • Transportation – A DUI conviction will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of either 6 months or 1 year, depending on your BAC. Plus, since you’re under 21, you don’t have the opportunity for a limited permit to drive to work and school, so chances are that you’ll be relying on (and paying for) a significant amount of public transit or taxi cabs. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re responsible for car payments, the payments don’t go away just because you can’t drive the car, so you’ll end up paying your regular car payments PLUS the public transit or cab fees you’d need to pay if you didn’t own a car.
  • Future Employment- Many employers will not hire you with a DUI conviction on your record.

Clearly, there are huge financial consequences for a DUI conviction, and those consequences are even greater as a driver who’s under the age of 21. If you’re arrested and charged with a DUI, your best chance to avoid a conviction is to work with a highly skilled traffic lawyer who specializes in DUI defense. Get in touch with me, Mickey Roberts, PC, to discuss your specific case, and keep up with Mr. GA DUI on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to stay up-to-date with tips and changes in traffic law.

December is often a time when we find ourselves in a sort of hibernation mode, confining ourselves more indoors and having more time to reflect on the passing year. As we head into 2015 I myself took some time to reflect and I am thankful: 2014 was a good year for my practice. Of the 62 cases closed this year, to date, of those were “DUI cases won”, while 16 cases resulted in guilty pleas; there were no guilty verdicts this year. I was geared up to go to trial for many of my cases but as circumstance would have it, it never came to that for various reasons including several cases being resolved without the need of a judge or jury!
There were several highlights that stick out in my mind, but I would like to share just a few with you:

Case of Year: The case of the year started out as a nasty case. My client was originally charged with DUI, fleeing, obstruction, reckless driving, and numerous other minor traffic offenses. He was stopped by Ga. State Patrol, forcibly pulled from his car and tasered. His shoulder was torn from its socket when officers strongly pulled him from the ground. Using the State Troopers reports and videos against them, I was able to obtain a dismissal on all counts, EXCEPT a no contest plea to failure to maintain lane.

This case, along with the more famous recent cases involving police brutality, shows the need for every police encounter to be videotaped, both for the citizen’s protection as well as that of the police officer.

Restriction/Expungements: I had 4 clients whose arrest records were restricted from public access after I filed actions under the new restriction law. If you have been charged and fingerprinted for any reason in the past, I will look into your case at no charge to see if you are eligible for restriction.

Drug Search Cases: I also handle drug possession cases and in 2014, I had 2 cases where a felony drug charge was dismissed because the search was illegal.

As I enter my 35th year of law practice, I look forward to continuing to aggressively defend your traffic law cases. Looking ahead to 2015, I am excited to begin taking on personal injury claims again and providing even more legal representation to clients. Be on the lookout for my new website, www.mickeyroberts.com, where I will be discussing additional traffic law topics coming in 2015!!

Without you entrusting me to help with your legal concerns, my practice would not be possible and for that, I am eternally grateful. Thank you for your continued support and here’s to another great year. I wish each and every one of you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving a car for the first time by yourself as a teenage driver: you’ve completed numerous hours of driver’s ed., passed the written test and aced the driving portion – congratulations, you’re a licensed Georgia driver!  What seems like a rite of passage for individuals over 16 year of age is considered a “driver’s privilege” in the eyes of the law when licenses are issued.  This means that what the State giveth, it can also taketh, and yes, they will suspend your license for a number of reasons.  I would like to share with you five examples (of course the list isn’t limited to these five) of such reasons that can lead to a Georgia license suspension:

    Georgia Drivers License Right or Privilege
  1. DUI: driving under the influence (DUI) is one of Georgia’s most common traffic offenses.  This means that if you are pulled over by a cop, consent to field sobriety tests , and consent to a breath test that show your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .08 grams (.02 for under 21 drivers), then you can be convicted of DUI and your license suspended for a predetermined period of time.
  2. Too many points on your driving record: certain traffic convictions carry point values.  For instance speeding ranges from 2-6 points, depending on your speed, while unlawfully passing a school bus is 6 points.  If you accumulate a certain total of points in a short period of time (it’s dependent on your age and point value assigned to a specific conviction), then your license can be suspended.
  3. Hit & run: this refers to hitting another vehicle and driving away before the accident has been reported.  This is considered a serious infraction as it implies that you consciously chose to drive off and as a result, hit and runs are considered a mandatory suspendable offense.
  4. Failure to pay child support: if you have been mandated by the courts to pay child support and fail to do so, your name is added to a state-wide certified list of all persons in violation (this list is updated monthly).  If you have accumulated over 60 days’ worth of not paying then a licensing agency/department has the right to withhold your license until payment is made.
  5. School attendance: a teenage driver under the age of 18 can have their license suspended for several reasons including, dropping out of school without graduating, having 10 or more unexcused absences in an academic year or pleading guilty to a number of offenses (such as drug or weapon possession, causing bodily harm to students/teachers, etc.).  Conduct infractions can lead to a one-year suspension or until the minor has turned 18.

As an experienced traffic and DUI lawyer, I not only defend people who have had their license suspended because of traffic offenses but I also help get license suspensions revoked.  Give me a call or contact MrGaDUI today if you have recently had your Georgia license suspended.  For more on the latest updates in DUI or traffic law, stay connected with me through my Mickey Roberts, P.C. Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page.

Many people are under the impression that you cannot be arrested and convicted of a DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than .08 grams. This is incorrect. In Georgia, while the legal limit is .08, a person can be a DUI “less safe,” even if their BAC is below a .08.

dui less safe in georgiaIn Georgia, there is no legal presumption of impairment if your BAC is between a .05 and a .08.  If your BAC is below a .05, there is a rebuttable presumption that you are NOT impaired.
A DUI less safe is defined as “being under the influence of alcohol to the extent that you are less safe to drive.”

But what does it mean, legally, to be “DUI less safe to drive?” First, it means that you are less safe to drive than if you had not consumed alcohol or drugs. But, hey, that depends on the person’s tolerance, right? So, according to the Pattern Jury Charges that judges in Georgia read to jurors before deliberating, this is what “less safe” means:
A person is less safe to drive when that person is less efficient, less skillful, less coherent, less able, and less proficient to drive a car.

Notice that there is NOTHING that describes less safe as having your eyes jerk, or performing gymnastic floor exercises.  There is nothing about bloodshot eyes, or slurred speech or the smell of alcohol. The definition also does not mention anything about alcohol or drug blood levels.  The definition has to do with whether a person’s fine motor skills have been affected so much that they cannot effectively drive a car.

So the next time you are on a jury and are asked to decide if someone were DUI “less safe", remember that we are talking about driving ability here; is there evidence that the person was  able, efficient, skilful or proficient WHILE driving the car? Or is there simply collateral evidence that may or may not have anything to do with actual driving skill?

Hiring a qualified, knowledgeable DUI attorney can make all the difference in winning your case.  If you are arrested for DUI or other serious traffic matters, contact MrGaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news. 


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The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.