Category Archives: DUI Laws

Can Your DUI Be Reduced to Reckless Driving? February’s Case of the Month

Don’t settle for DUI. In some cases, such as this month’s featured DUI case, a DUI can be reduced to reckless driving. My client was stopped in the city of Duluth, Georgia. She was coming home from work late at night, and the officer stopped her for speeding. In the video of the case, the officer said my client smelled like alcohol, her eyes were bloodshot, and her speech was slurred; he administered the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus HGN and found the maximum number of clues. After her arrest, my client refused to take any State breath test.

zero tolerance georgia

Although her prior DUIs were several years ago, this arrest marked my client’s third lifetime DUI. The video revealed my client’s speech and walk were normal. She was argumentative with the officer, but I argued that was because she felt she was being wrongfully arrested. The officer’s evaluation of the HGN was absolutely inconsistent with her physical appearance, and I argued that therefore the HGN should be totally discounted.

Because of those arguments, as well as my long standing professional relationship with the Duluth Court, the charges were reduced to a lesser offense; my client was able to keep her license and walk out of Duluth Court, with no probation.

The fact is that in today’s DUI World, a lawyer’s experience, reputation, and relationships are important. When someone is looking to hire a DUI lawyer, the questions must be asked: How much experience do you have in DUI defense? Do you have good reputation in the legal community? What is your relationship with the police, prosecutors, and court?
If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.  

A DUI Lasts Forever (Almost)

Valentine’s Day reminds me of roses, candy, and diamonds. There used to be a commercial that said, “Diamonds are forever.”

DUI in GAWell, just like a diamond, a DUI arrest and conviction can last forever in Georgia. There are two types of “records.” One is your driving record with Drivers Services. A DUI conviction (or guilty plea) stays on the driving history forever. While the ramifications for future license suspension, insurance problems and employment may not last past 10 years, these are still potential problems you must deal with should you decide to plead guilty or be found guilty of a DUI.

A DUI arrest is another matter. Under current Georgia law, which changed in July 2013, an arrest record (which is accessible to the public) can only be restricted under very specific conditions. Mainly, you MUST have all of the charges dismissed, either by agreement with the prosecutor or through a not guilty verdict.  If the DUI is amended, say to reckless driving, then the public still has access to the arrest (although the record should show that the DUI was amended to a lesser charge). If the DUI is dismissed, but you are found guilty on other charges such as speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc. then, again the arrest will still show on your public record.

Therefore, you must always take into account your driving and criminal records when trying to decide how to handle your DUI.  I have spent years and have hundreds of case experiences in attempting to resolve DUI cases with records restriction as one of our goals. If you are concerned about your driving record or criminal background checks, you MUST hire a DUI lawyer with some expertise in that area.

If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.  

What You Need to Know About Child Endangerment Charges

While some may believe that driving under the influence (DUI) is not a serious crime, more Georgians go to jail for DUI charges than any other crime. In many cases, you can face jail time, pay hefty fines, and log lengthy community service and driving school hours. The harsh reality is that a DUI conviction can dramatically change your life without an experienced DUI attorney like Mickey Roberts who can effectively handle a DUI. It may be hard to imagine much worse than the consequences of a DUI in itself. However, when you add a child endangerment charge on top of a DUI, the punishment undoubtedly increases.

under 21 dui in georgiaAny person charged with DUI while transporting a child under 14 can also be charged with a separate charge of “DUI Child Endangerment.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20% of children under 14 who were killed in car crashed in 2014 were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes. Of the 239 children from this group, 52% were passengers in vehicles with drivers who had a BAC of .08 or higher.

In some states, child endangerment constitutes child abuse. Statistics show that impaired drivers are less likely to use proper safety restraints for their children. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, sober drivers in fatal crashes properly restrain their minor passengers an average of 30.5% of the time, while only 18% of impaired drivers do.

Child Endangerment is actually a separate crime than DUI. The endangerment charge cannot be “merged” into the DUI. It cannot be dismissed just because you plead guilty to the DUI. Additionally, child endangerment is considered a separate DUI offense by the Department of Driver’s Services. Therefore, if you are convicted of DUI while transporting two children under 14, you would automatically be declared a Habitual Violator because you would have three DUI convictions.

While 3 DUI convictions would carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5000 fine, a 4th DUI arrest would be considered a felony, with a possible sentence of one to three years in prison and a $5000 fine.

Regardless of whether your DUI is considered a felony or a misdemeanor, it is important to keep in mind that a drunk driving child endangerment conviction will remain on your criminal record permanently. Consequently, anyone who performs a background check will be enabled to see your conviction of driving under the influence and endangering the life of a child.

Because a flawed criminal record can limit your suitability and acceptance for employment, housing, and educational opportunities in the future, it is important to hire a DUI lawyer like Mickey Roberts who also is knowledgeable in getting arrest records restricted from public view.  If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow Mickey on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

The Problem with Breathalyzers

As we approach the holiday season, parties and alcohol will be as equally present as the increased law enforcement on the road. While it is always the best choice to have a designated driver to take you to and from your festivities, some people choose to drive after having a drink or two. In many cases, taking the precaution of limiting yourself to minimal alcohol leaves you safely under the legal limit. However, Georgia DUI lawyer Mickey Roberts often explains to his clients that if you are stopped and tested by a breathalyzer, you may be accused of drinking far more. How does this happen, and how can you stop it?

mouth alcohol breathalyzer

As part of the 4 simple rules to remember when stopped by the police to avoid DUI, remember not to submit to any voluntary roadside field sobriety evaluations—breathalyzers included.

In fact, it is advised not to take any state tests if you are arrested, especially if you believe you might be over the legal limit of .08. Unfortunately, even if you do not believe you are over the limit, a breathalyzer may show a very different, incriminating result.

The problem with breathalyzers is the false reading sometimes caused by mouth alcohol. When a breathalyzer analyzes your breath for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the internal computer believes it is reading from air exhaled from deep within the lungs, also known as alveolar air. However, if your last sip of alcohol was recent, the sample very well may come from your mouth or throat. Even if a very small amount remains, the breathalyzer will report a very high BAC.

Another reason the breathalyzer may report higher than accurate numbers is if the DUI suspect has recently belched or is affected by acid reflux, causing what could be alcohol-filled liquids and gases of the stomach to rise into the esophagus and mouth’s soft tissue, where it remains until it is dissipated by saliva. The action of saliva rinsing the mouth and tissues of alcohol takes roughly 15-20 minutes. An additional cause of inaccurate breathalyzer reading is the usage of mouthwash or breath freshener, which you may be better off not using if you are attempting to cover up the smell of alcohol after consumption. Also, if you have dental work or removable components such as dentures, you are subject to much longer periods of holding high mouth alcohol.

To elude the mouth alcohol problem, it is best to stop drinking—even at minimal levels—hours before driving. To avoid DUI, it is best to always have a designated driver on hand to exacerbate the risk altogether.  If you need DUI help, please Contact MRGADUI  today.  Be sure to follow MrGaDUI on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more information on Georgia DUI laws.

What happens if you’re under 21 and get a DUI?

When you hear of someone receiving a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, you may automatically assume that the person is over the age of 21.  While DUI may be commonly associated with individuals over the legal drinking age, it is important to note that if you are under 21 and unable to legally drink, you are not exempt from charges associated with DUI. under 21 dui in georgia

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is the most frequently abused substance among today’s youth with over 4,700 annual deaths related to underage drunk driving.  In Georgia, those over 21 found driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent is considered DUI and at a minimum can face fines, jail time, suspended license, community service and possible probation.  For underage drinkers, the BAC is much lower with penalties that are different than for those over the legal drinking age.  Anyone under the age of 21 driving with a registered BAC level of .02 percent can be cited for a DUI.

The penalties associated with an under 21 DUI depends on your BAC level.  For those who register below .08 percent on the state’s breath test, a fine must be paid, your driver’s license is suspended for six months with no limited permit and you must complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service.  If you register above .08 percent, a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours must be served, you will lose your license for a full year with no limited permit, must complete a 40 hour minimum of community service as well as pay a fine up to $1,000.

If you are suspected of DUI and are under the legal drinking age, it is important to remember the 4 simple rules for underage drivers: be polite, never admit to the number of drinks consumed, do not submit to field sobriety tests and refuse the required chemical test as one drink could put you over the legal limit.  If you are arrested for under 21 DUI in Georgia, it is imperative that you hire an experienced DUI and traffic lawyer with a high success rate on contested cases to represent you.

With over 30 years of practice experience, attorney Mickey Roberts has success defending his DUI clients and is recognized by judges and peers as a leading DUI Defense lawyer in the State of Georgia.  If you require legal representation for under 21 DUI or any other traffic offense, contact MRGADUI attorney today.  Be sure to follow MrGaDUI on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more information on Georgia traffic laws.

Contact MrGADUI

Please leave this field empty.

Archives

Newsletter

Location

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.
DUI Laws (4)