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States Are Struggling In Defining Marijuana DUIs

As more states legalize personal use of marijuana, they are now trying to define just how much marijuana in a person’s blood would be considered as an impaired driver.  States such as Colorado and Washington are trying to agree on an amount of Delta 9 THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) that would cause someone to be impaired to drive, and would therefore constitute a “per se” DUI.  The amount that they came up with is five or more nanograms of Delta 9 THC per milliliter, yet there are disagreements on whether even that amount is too low or too high.  “Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) acknowledges that detecting impairment caused by use of marijuana can be trickier than it is for alcohol.”  (NY Times, June 9, 2013)Police Officer - Eye Coordination

“Earlier this year, in a widely viewed broadcast, a Seattle TV station, KIRO, had three volunteers smoke marijuana before driving.  They started out well enough, and each were capable of driving safely even after they far exceeded the state’s 5 nanogram limit.”  (NY Times, June 9, 2013)

In states that have not legalized recreational use, such as Georgia, the legal definition of someone under the influence of marijuana is someone who is rendered “incapable of driving safely.”  There is currently no “per se” marijuana in Georgia.  There is a DUI “per se” level which is .08 grams but in Georgia the State must prove that you are “rendered incapable of driving safely due to marijuana.”  The State generally must show less safe driving, failure to perform balance tests, or physical manifestations of being “stoned.”  Most officers lack the training to accurately articulate someone who may be impaired due to marijuana; therefore, it is important that you do NOT voluntarily give the State any evidence which would incriminate you.

The Simple Rules apply if you are stopped in Georgia and are suspected of being under the influence of marijuana:
  • Don’t admit to smoking.
  • Don’t do any field tests.
  • Don’t agree to a blood or urine test.
  • Make the State prove that you are under the influence to the extent you were “rendered incapable of driving safely.”


For the latest on DUI and traffic laws news, visit the MRGADUI blog.  To inquire about legal representation for traffic offenses, contact Mickey Roberts today.  Also be sure to connect with Mickey on Facebook,Twitter and Google+.

Five Things Cops Don’t Tell You during a Traffic Stop

If you drive a car for any period of time, chances are good that you will be stopped at some time by a police officer.  If the cop suspects that you have been drinking, there are five things he/she will NOT tell you during their detention:arrested for dui
  1. Once they smell what they believe to be alcohol, they are like sharks smelling blood. Their focus becomes ENTIRELY on forming an opinion that you are driving under the influence DUI.
  2. Police ask you if you have been drinking for two reasons: if you deny drinking and later it is determined that you have been drinking, they use your denial against you in court; If you admit drinking they can also use it against you in court.
  3. They will not tell you that the Field Sobriety Evaluations will be used against you as evidence to prove you guilty of DUI.
  4. They will not tell you that the portable breath test (alco sensor) on the scene gives the officer a numerical readout of your blood alcohol level. Using that number allows him to form an opinion that you should be arrested for DUI.
  5. They will not tell you that if you take the State breath test and register above the legal limit (currently .08 grams/210 liters), you are automatically deemed DUI and the burden shifts to you to prove innocence.
  While you need to cooperate with the officer in giving them your license and following instructions to get out of your car, you do NOT have to provide evidence which they can use at a later date to convict you of DUI. Remember that DUI is an opinion crime: the officer forms an opinion based on his interpretation of the evidence. Keep these points in mind if you are stopped by the police; if you are arrested for DUI or any other serious traffic violations, contact MRGADUI.  You can also connect with attorney Mickey Roberts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + for the latest DUI news.

Remember the 4 Rules If You Are Pulled Over

With the upcoming holidays, law enforcement will be out in full force, stopping people for suspected DUI.  Just recently, a local news anchor, Amanda Davis of Fox 5 News, was arrested after a wrong-way crash and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and failure to maintain lane. what to do if pulled over by police for drinking and driving

When Davis was asked by the officer if she had been drinking, she said yes – not following rule number 1 of the 4 simple rules to remember when stopped by the police.  However, she did refuse a breathalyzer test and field sobriety test.   As you may have seen in previous blogs or on a MRGADUI koozie, I want to remind everyone of the 4 simple rules:

  1. Never admit to drinking or anything else. This does not mean deny drinking, it means do NOT admit or deny drinking or anything else. You do not have to provide any evidence that may incriminate you.
  2. Do not submit to any roadside field sobriety evaluations.  Roadside tests are voluntary and can include an eye test, walking a straight line, standing on one leg, ABCs, and/or a portable breath test.
  3. Do not take any state tests after your arrest if you believe you might be over the legal limit of .08 limit.
  4. If you are under 21 and receive a traffic ticket, call me! Since many traffic violations in addition to DUI can result in license suspension for underage drivers, it’s best to contact me to see whether your license is subject to suspension.


* 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.

Contact me if you need DUI help or have questions about another traffic offense.  Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest information about traffic issues and driver’s rights.

4 Simple Rules Explained: Rule 4

Rule 4:  Hire a traffic attorney if you’re under the age of 21 and get any tickets.

Why should I hire an attorney for a traffic offense if under 21?

When you are under the age of 21, there are certain types of traffic offenses which will result in automatic license suspension.  Rather than simply paying the ticket (meaning you are admitting guilt)and later learning that your license is suspended, consult a traffic attorney experienced in dealing with teenage driver infractions so that you’re fully aware of the possible plea consequences.

There are several ways in which the license of a teenage driver can be suspended:

  1. Any offense carrying 4 or more points; (this includes speeding 24 miles over the speed limit, passing a school bus, passing on a hill or curve, reckless driving, or aggressive driving)
  2. Hit and run or leaving the scene of accident
  3. Racing
  4. Fleeing and eluding a police officer
  5. Purchasing alcohol
  6. Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol
  7. Arrested for DUI
  8. Illegal drug possession


There ARE ways of keeping your license from being suspended if you are charged with any of the above offenses, but you need the advice of a qualified traffic lawyer to help you!  Practicing law for 32 years, I have handled 1000s of such cases.   Unless your driving record is horrific, I can normally get something worked out on your case to keep your license.

While I am able to go back and reopen your case AFTER conviction many times, it is far easier to hire me to represent for these charges BEFORE you go to court.

To schedule a consultation with me, contact my office.  You can also join me on Facebook, Google +, and Twitter for the latest teenage driver defense news.

4 Simple Rules Explained: Rule 3

The 3rd Simple rule is not so simple.  Should you take the State blood, breath, or urine test after you are arrested for DUI? The answer is: it depends. Under Georgia’s Implied Consent law, once you are arrested for DUI, you must submit to the officer’s request for a test of your blood, breath, urine,  or other bodily substance.  If you don’t, you face having your license suspended for a year with no work or school permit available.  After you submit to the officer’s test(s), you are then entitled to independent tests of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance.

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Disclaimer

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.