Category Archives: DUIs in the News

Radar Speed Detection Reinstituted in Gwinnett as Traffic Fatalities Jump

Have you recently noticed more police out in Gwinnett County using radar guns to catch speeders? In January 2011, only one year after the state of Georgia instituted the super speeder law, the option for Gwinnett County police and many city police in Gwinnett to use laser and radar speed detection was revoked due to an unresolved conflict between the county and city governments.

Although Georgia State Patrol could still use radar and laser detection to track drivers’ speed and Gwinnett police were able to catch speeders by pacing drivers, this revocation surely affected the number of speeding citations issued. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gwinnett County police alone issued 29,000 speeding citations in 2010, and three-fourths of these citations were determined through the help of laser and radar gun detection.

In February 2012, the conflict was finally resolved and radar guns were returned to Gwinnett police. The police influenced by the dispute reported they operated just fine without the radars, but were definitely glad to have them back. They believe drivers are more likely to slow down if they know police are on the roads clocking their speed. With recent car accidents earlier this month resulting in three traffic fatalities over the span of five days in Gwinnett, you can probably expect to see even more police on the road.

On Friday, April 6th, a box truck crashed into the rear of a Nissan Altima sending both vehicles into a pickup truck and a minivan on I-985 S under Buford Drive. The driver and passenger of the Nissan died on impact. The other individuals involved suffered minor injuries. Police determined speed and alcohol were not factors in this accident, but the box truck driver was charged with two counts of second degree vehicular homicide. Second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor resulting in a maximum sentence of 12 months, but first degree vehicular homicide is a felony and can result in 3 to 15 years in prison and license suspension.

The other traffic fatality in Gwinnett occurred April 10th at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Sugarloaf Parkway when a driver turned left in front of another driver as the stop light turned from green to yellow. The driver who was struck on the right side of his vehicle died at the scene. This incident is still under investigation to determine right of way and if speed was a factor, but driving while under the influence of alcohol did not seem to be a factor.

A leading Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, Mickey Roberts has seen many lives take an unfortunate turn due to drunk driving and vehicular homicide charges. He urges driver’s to drive carefully. Whether you drive carefully to avoid a speeding ticket or to prevent harm to yourself and other drivers, it’s important to be cautious as one bad decision can result in harsh consequences. If you have been arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact MrGaDUI today. Be sure to visit his website to learn more about driver’s rights, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ if you haven’t already.

Stone Mountain Woman Indicted on Vehicular Homicide and DUI Charges

mrgaduiTwenty-two-year-old Chasity Nicole Jones was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury earlier this month on vehicular homicide and other charges in an incident that killed senior Atlanta police officer Gail Thomas on the evening of January 24th.  Thomas died on the scene as a result of the injuries she sustained when Jones’ car struck her on an I-75 entrance ramp as she exited her car to assist another officer with a previous accident.

Reported by Georgia Daily News, Jones was indicted on vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, possession of drugs, and other drug-related charges.  She is currently being held at the Fulton County Jail without bond.  According to reports by Channel 2 Action News, Jones was carrying three passengers: Stephen Pearson of Gwinnett County, Katherine Gilliam of Lawrenceville, and Fred Jones of Cobb County. All of the noted passengers have declined media comment.

Homicide by vehicle carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and three years of driver’s license suspension without the possibility of a work permit.  Georgia vehicular homicide is defined as the unlawful killing of an individual with a motor vehicle.  The charge degrees associated with vehicular homicide include felony vehicular homicide, misdemeanor vehicular homicide, feticide, and serious injury by vehicle.  All of these classifications carry different implications, but all involve a driver’s actions as the proximate cause of death or cause of serious injury.

Practicing Georgia vehicular homicide defense since 1995, I’ve certainly seen the devastating effects it has not only on its victims and their families, but also the debilitating long-term implications for the person charged.  While a 15-year sentence may not seem proportional to the actions involved, it’s also worth noting that vehicular homicide charges are almost always accompanied by substance related charges like DUI and DWI that carry their own steep punishments.  Given the life-altering consequences of serious traffic-related offences like vehicular homicide, I strongly encourage prospective clients to do their research when selecting a criminal defense attorney.  It’s important to only select counsel with a successful record of case wins.

To learn more about the legal services I provide and for answers to your frequently asked questions about DUI, visit my website.  You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in traffic law news.

State Representative Arrested for DUI in Atlanta

State representative John Andrew (Kip) Smith was arrested for DUI in Atlanta last Friday.  Officer Z.A. Kramer pulled over the lawmaker after he ran a red light at the intersection of Peachtree and Pharr Road in Buckhead. According to the AJC, the police record indicated that Smith admitted to having one beer 45 minutes before he was pulled over after the officer allegedly noticed the scent of alcohol and Kip’s watery eyes.

Rep. Smith initially refused the field sobriety test (walk-and-turn or one-leg-stand test) and breath test when the officer requested and instead asked to be taken to a hospital for a state chemical blood or breath test, but then consented when the officer told him that they only did that if he were arrested for DUI.  According to reports, Smith then blew a .091 (over the legal limit of .08) on the officer’s breathalyzer test and was placed under arrest for DUI.

Two additional officers then arrived on the scene where Smith completed two more breath tests rendering results of .099 and .100 respectively. Kip Smith has been charged with three offenses:  two DUI charges and one charge for failure to obey a traffic control device.

The intention of this post is not to exploit the wrongdoings of a public figure, but to reiterate the importance of knowing your Georgia driver rights.  Smith initially followed my suggestions of “what to do if stopped for DUI” by refusing the field sobriety test and requesting a state chemical test; however, he did himself a disservice by eventually consenting.

As you can read, the results of different breathalyzer test equipment can vary significantly depending on the age of the machinery and even the experience of the officer administering the test.  While the other details of this case will certainly surface as Smith goes to trial, the event serves as an ideal opportunity to reiterate what you should do if you’re pulled over for DUI regardless if this is your first DUI or third DUI in Georgia:

1.)  Take your DUI seriously

2.)  Hire an experienced DUI attorney

3.)  Don’t delay your DUI hearing

4.)  Don’t rely on advice of friends

5.)  Don’t base the hiring of an attorney on money alone

Of these tips, the most important is hiring an experienced DUI attorney to handle your case if you find yourself in this situation.  Visit my website to learn more about my experience as an Atlanta DUI, Georgia vehicular homicide, and commercial driving offense attorney.  You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for more tips on defending your driver’s rights.    

Rates of Female DUI Increase throughout the Last Decade

A recent study published by The Century Council and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation shows that the number of females arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol has increased 36% over a decade. The report, which will be available in full later this month, states that while men are often seen as the primary offenders in drunk driving cases, the number of women involved has increased steadily since 1980 and was up 29% from 1997 to 2007. Researchers examining the phenomenon offer various explanations for this spike in female DUI statistics. One theory is that more women are drinking and then driving than in past years. Some researchers believe that the spike in women’s arrests is due to changes in the legal system including fewer male arrests and changes to the DUI law enforcement policy that bring more attention to women whose blood alcohol content levels are more affected by alcohol consumption. The study indicated,

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Designed to Fail? MR GA DUI Advises Against Submitting to Field Sobriety Tests

If you own a MR GA DUI koozie or read his blog, you’ve probably heard that he suggests not submitting to field sobriety tests when stopped by the police for driving under the influence. While experienced DUI attorney Mickey Roberts has been advising clients and Georgia drivers not to submit to field sobriety tests for years, an investigative reporter for Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News, Richard Belcher, further solidified Robert’s advice in a recent news story. Belcher spoke with police officers, as well as Dr. Spurgeon Cole, a retired psychology professor from Clemson University, who has been studying field sobriety tests since the 1980s shortly after the tests were first instituted. Cole told the Channel 2 reporter that when these tests were designed, police incorrectly identified 47% of the drivers as intoxicated during trials. However,

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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.
DUIs in the News (2)