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10 Good Reasons to Avoid a Second DUI Conviction

All of my clients arrested for DUI for the first time seem to have one thing in common: the trauma associated with being arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail for four to twelve hours before release after bonding. Even a first DUI conviction, with license suspension, minimal jail time, 40 hours of community service and so forth, can be time consuming, embarrassing, and a hassle.

Multiply this by 100 times and you will get the level of trauma associated with a second DUI conviction. In Georgia, license suspensions are determined by how many DUI convictions one has received in a 5 year period. For minimum sentence purposes, Georgia looks at how many DUI convictions one has had in a 10 year period.why-photo

Here are 10 good reasons to avoid a 2nd DUI conviction, whether in a 5 year or a 10 year period:
  1. The minimum jail time is three days, although most jurisdictions give between 10 and 120 days incarceration.
  2. A minimum sentence of 240 hours community service is given for second DUI convictions.
  3. Completion of a DUI school, a 20-hour class costing around $300, is required before your license can be reinstated. 
  4. A minimum fine of $600 is assessed. Again, most courts do not sentence you to a minimum fine; most fines end up being in excess of $1000.
  5. A clinical alcohol and drug evaluation must be completed, along with any recommended treatment.  This can be anywhere from an outpatient program to an inpatient program, and can also include AA meetings; this is also required before any limited permit is available or license reinstatement. 
  6. A second DUI conviction also requires the installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) on any car you drive, as a prerequisite for a limited permit and license reinstatement.  IIDs cost money to install, maintain, and remove.
  7. Tag forfeiture on any car titled in your name
  8. Your photo, along with notice of the DUI conviction, will be published in the local legal newspaper.
  9. Possible sentence to a DUI court program, a 12 -24 month program involving weekly meetings and group meetings with the DUI court judge.
  10. A total of 18 months of either no driving or limited driving:  license suspension for at least 120 days with no driving; followed by possibly 12 months of limited driving with the Interlock Device (IID) and 2 more months of limited driving with no IID.


So as you can see, if you are charged with a second DUI, it is imperative to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who knows the law and defends DUI cases. For over 33 years, Atlanta DUI attorney Mickey Roberts has been aggressively fighting DUI cases with a success rate of 98% on contested cases. If you find yourself facing a second or multiple DUIs, you owe it to yourself to at least talk with MrGaDUI.  You can also connect with Mickey on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Source Code Defense Dead For DUI cases?

Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court has resolved the source code issue brought up with Cronkite v. The State case. DUI defense lawyers in Georgia have been filing motions to secure out-of-state witnesses from CMI Alcoblow Breath Test to bring the source code software to Georgia for inspection of errors and flaws.supremecourtsteps

The source code is the software that operates the Intox. 5000 breath test, which measures an individual’s blood alcohol content. To get an order for an out-of-state witness, the proponent of the subpoena must show that the witness is a “material witness”.  A material witness is defined as “a witness who can testify about matters having some logical connection with consequential facts”.

The Supreme Court holds that, in order to show that the out-of-state witness who was to provide testimony regarding the source code was a “material witness” in this case; Cronkite was required to show the witness’ testimony regarding the source code bore a logical connection to facts supporting the existence of an error in his breath test results.

In other words, the Court places the burden on the Defendant in a DUI case to show facts which would support the existence of a possible error in his specific breath test results.

How in the world a Defendant would ever be capable of doing that is beyond me, and apparently is beyond the folks down at the Ga. Supreme Court as well.

To learn more about DUIs, or if you are in need of legal representation for other traffic violations, please contact MRGADUI. Don’t forget to connect with attorney Mickey Roberts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest DUI news.

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+.

Celebrate July 4th with Fireworks, Not Jail Time

The Independence Day holiday is upon us and many are anxiously counting down the days until the celebrations begin.  Whether heading out for a day on the lake, fireworks in the park or barbecues with friends and family, the Fourth of July means stars, stripes, food and alcohol.  When the festivities are over and it’s time to go home, it is important to know how your body is affected by alcohol to avoid DUI and spending the remainder of your holiday in jail.zero tolerance georgia

With many travelers on the road this summer, especially during the holidays, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) announced that the state-wide Operation Zero Tolerance campaign has once again been launched.  Operation Zero Tolerance targets drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol by increasing patrol and sobriety checkpoints now through July 7th.  Stating that the Fourth of July is one of the most dangerous holidays on Georgia roads, GOHS cited 88 alcohol-related crashes during the July 3rd-5th period in the past two years and believes that the campaign will make drivers think twice about driving after they have consumed alcohol.

In Georgia, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 for adults and .02 for individuals under 21.  As discussed in a previous blog, understanding more about blood alcohol content and how it affects each individual differently is important to keep in mind as age, gender, weight, metabolism, type and number of drinks consumed are all key factors in how a person may be influenced by alcohol.  A standard drink is considered any drink that contains .06oz. or 14 grams of “pure” alcohol, which can be found in 12oz. of beer, 8oz. of malt liquor, 5oz. of wine or 1.5oz. (or single shot) of spirits or liquor.  Even if you don’t think you are showing signs of impairment or feeling intoxicated after one or two standard drinks, your BAC could say differently.  If you find yourself being suspected of DUI this Fourth of July, remember the 4 simple rules when stopped by a police officer.

If you are arrested for DUI or in need of legal representation for other traffic violations, please contact MRGADUI.  Be sure to connect with attorney Mickey Roberts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + for the latest DUI news.

5 Common Questions about BUI in Georgia

1. What is a BUI? The Georgia law of boating under the influence says no person shall operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination thereof, when it is less safe to do so; while having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above within 3 hours of operating such vessel; if there is any amount of marijuana or a controlled substance in their blood or urine; or has prescription drugs in their blood and is rendered incapable of operating a vessel safely. what is a BUI?

2. What is considered a “vessel” for BUI purposes?
“Vessel” means every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water or a sailboard, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water and specifically includes, but is not limited to, inflatable rafts and homemade vessels. The vessel does NOT need to be motorized.

3. Can my driver’s license be suspended if I am convicted of BUI? No, only your “privilege to operate a vessel” can be suspended. Your privilege to operate can be suspended anywhere from 30 days to 5 years, depending on the number of BUI convictions you have.

4. What gives the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the right to stop my boat? Under current Georgia law, the DNR or any other law enforcement officer can stop your vessel for any reason, including verifying proper documentation and safety equipment on board. The police do NOT need articulable suspicion to stop you as they would need when stopping your car.

5. What are the penalties for a BUI conviction? Besides loss of privilege to operate a vessel for a period of time, BUIs are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail and a $1000 fine. BUIs are very similar to DUIs, with officers using field sobriety tests, portable breath tests, and intoximeter breath machines to prove your guilt. Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced BUI and traffic lawyer who will aggressively fight for your rights. If you require legal representation for BUI or any other traffic offense, contact MRGADUI today. Be sure to follow Mickey Roberts on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on Georgia traffic laws.

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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.
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