Category Archives: DUI Laws

Georgia to Lower the Legal Limit for Boating and Drinking

As the warmer seasons arrive, popular spots like the lake and beach fill up with families, swimmers, and boaters. With recent stories of boating accidents occurring on the lake, Georgia state legislators have discussed the existing blood alcohol limits for boaters. Currently, Georgia’s blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for boat drivers is 0.10, up 0.02 from the standard in place for driving a motor vehicle under the influence. Governor Nathan Deal and other state legislators have been pushing to lower the limit to 0.08 to match the driving law stating, “If you are too drunk to drive an automobile, you are too drunk to drive a boat.” Of course .08 is just a legal limit imposed; no studies show that a person is “drunk” at that level.mr gadui

Gwinnett traffic and DUI attorney Mickey Roberts has represented clients for traffic and DUI offenses on the road and on the water. Even though 0.02 is not a drastic change, it should remind boaters to think again. Boat accidents are just as dangerous as car accidents, and Mickey encourages boaters to understand the laws of operating a boat on a lake or river in Georgia. While we are all familiar with the fines and penalties related to a DUI conviction, a BUI (boating under the influence) conviction has the same consequences whether you are operating a small boat or a yacht.

If you are suspected of boating while intoxicated, you will be pulled over by police that patrol Georgia’s lakes and rivers. The protocol remains the same as if you were suspected of driving a car under the influence with being asked to perform field sobriety tests and/or submit to a breathalyzer test. Consequences for a BUI conviction will still include fees and possible jail time, and the ability to operate a boat is suspended. As Mickey often reminds his clients, it is important to remember the 4 simple rules when stopped by police to avoid incriminating yourself and to understand your rights as a driver.

The state House of Representatives has passed Governor Deal’s proposal, however, it is still under review from the Senate. Be sure to stay up-to-date with our blog for more traffic law news. To inquire about legal representation for DUI or other traffic offenses, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also, connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Driving Under the Influence of Legal Drugs?

Although DUI is most commonly associated with driving under the influence of alcohol, it can also include driving under the influence of illegal drugs. According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, legal prescription drugs designed to treat depression, anxiety, and insomnia may also increase driving risk.

The authors of the study compared two groups of people: one group of 5,183 people who had been involved in motor vehicle accidents and one group of 31,093 people of comparable age and gender who had no record of being involved in accidents. Researchers found that study participants who had been involved in the car accidents were also more likely to be taking psychotropic drugs. Although driving under the influence of these legally prescribed drugs will not be included in the drug schedule until further research is conducted, people taking these types of drugs need to know the risks in order to increase driving safety. Researchers suggest that doctors should warn their patients about taking such medications before driving.

You may be reading this thinking you have nothing to worry about besides the potential for a fender bender, but even though you will not be charged for taking certain non-abusive prescription drugs that may increase driving risk, you could encounter other traffic issues including vehicular homicide or other issues like license suspension.

As a traffic attorney who is dedicated to defending driver’s rights, Mickey Roberts has seen the impact traffic violations can have on a person’s life. Even if you are not driving drunk, certain things can increase your driving risk whether or not they are illegal. If you have been charged with DUI or another traffic offense, contact MrGaDUI today. For more information about traffic issues and driver’s rights, visit his website and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Chief Justices Important Too: What A New Supreme Court Term Means For You

The U.S. Supreme Court begins a new term on Monday, October 1st, 2012.  While most Americans are focused on the Presidential Election, we probably should pause and focus instead on some very important court cases the justices will hear this term.

Two cases involve the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. In Florida v. Jardines, the issue is whether police violated the Constitution by using a drug dog to sniff for drugs outside a house where suspected marijuana was being grown. The Court must decide whether the sniff test was unreasonably intrusive because there was no hard evidence that illegal activity was occurring, or was it not a search because it occurred outside the house? (The Florida Court held that the search was illegal).

The 2nd case, Missouri v. McNeely, asks whether the police can forcibly draw someone’s blood, in a DUI stop, without first getting a search warrant from a judge. (The Missouri Court held that an officer should first get a search warrant, even though the State argued that by delaying the test, some possible evidence of blood alcohol level would be lost.)

You will recall that last term the Court came out with some major decisions, including the decision on health care. This term the Court will decide not only the above two cases, but may also issue decisions on affirmative action, same sex marriage, and the Voting Rights Act.

Chief Justice Roberts has said that the role of the US Supreme Court is similar to that of a referee. As we have seen recently with the NFL’s replacement refs, referees can have an important impact, whether we are talking about a football game, or about the type of country in which we live. It is important to at least keep an eye on the US Supremes and their decisions, even in a Presidential election year.

How Lawyer’s Knowledge and Relationships Can Win Your DUI Case

When you are looking to hire a DUI lawyer, which is more important? The price the lawyer charges, or the experience and reputation the lawyer brings to the table?

There is an ongoing debate in legal circles as to how lawyers should charge. On one side is the old-school hourly billing crowd, who believe lawyers should charge by the hour. On the other side, is a new group who believes a lawyer should charge based on his/her knowledge and experience.

With the experience I’ve gained during my years of practice, I do see the benefit in charging based on knowledge, which can be illustrated by a recent case. Throughout my 32 years of practice I have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge on matters involving not only the law, but also about certain courts, police departments, prosecutors, and judges. That knowledge and the relationships derived from practicing for 32 years is in many ways invaluable.

My client was charged with a DUI, and registered a .17 on the State breath test. At first glance most lawyers would assume that it would be impossible to win a DUI case like this one. After looking at the video, however, I found that there were some issues in the case involving not only probable cause for the arrest, but whether the test should be excluded from evidence because of the way the officer read the Implied Consent warning.

I first approached the officer and told him, in a nice way, of my concerns about the breath test; after hearing me out, he agreed, and he went to bat for my client in talking to the prosecutor about reducing the charges. Then I talked to the prosecutor, whom I have known for over 25 years and eventually he agreed with me and reduced the charges.

Without the relationships I have developed with the officer and prosecutor and the reputation I maintain, I would have struggled more to have the charges reduced. In my opinion, experience, knowledge, and relationships are invaluable when it comes to DUI defense.

New Law Increases Fees for DUI and Other Alcoholic Offenses

If there were no reasons for fighting a DUI conviction before, there is now. As part of a new overhaul of the criminal code in Georgia, effective July 1, 2012, the “penalties” added onto fines will equal 50% of the fine. This means that if you plead guilty to a DUI and are assessed a fine of $1000, you will still owe an additional “fee” of $500. This is in addition to other fees that go to the Peace Officers Retirement Fund and the Probate Judges Retirement Fund.

The new penalties will go to fund what will be known as the “County Drug Abuse and Treatment Program.” The penalties do not just apply to DUIs. Now a 50% penalty will be applied on possession of alcohol by a minor, serious injury by vehicle, and fleeing and eluding, as well as all drug possession convictions.

In essence, the total amount due for fines and fees now on a DUI, minor in possession, etc. could be as high as 100% of any fine amount! Although the best way to avoid such fees is not getting arrested for DUI or drug possession, etc., you can hire a qualified DUI defense lawyer to aggressively fight and win your DUI case if you are faced with such fees. The days of hiring a cheap “plea dog” lawyer are over.

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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.
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