Tag Archives: Atlanta GA Dui Attorney

Case of the Month: When Parking the Car is the Best Option

Even efforts to make good decisions can go awry when you do not hire the right DUI lawyer. However, in November’s case of the month, because my client went the correct route in getting out of her DUI case, a good outcome was possible in a not-so-good situation.

My client had been drinking when she found herself in a situation where she needed to leave for her safety. After she started driving, she realized that she might have had too much to drink to drive safely. After pulling into a subdivision and parking on a side street, she turned off the car, took the keys out of the ignition, moved over to the passenger side, and drifted off to sleep. Almost 2 hours later, a resident called the police, who came to the scene to investigate. After waking my client up, the officer arrested her for DUI.

One of the key elements in prosecuting a DUI is that the State must prove that you were in control of a moving vehicle and were impaired to drive.  It is possible to be convicted of DUI, EVEN if the officer does not see you driving. You can be convicted by “circumstantial” evidence. For instance, if you are in a parked car with the engine running, you admit that you had parked the car recently, or if you are involved in an accident and admit that you were driving.

The key elements to not being found guilty of DUI–even though you tried to do the right thing by parking your car–are as follows:
  1. Turn the engine off, take the keys out of the ignition, and move to the back seat.
  2. If approached by the police, do not answer any questions relating to when your driving ended, how much you had to drink, etc.
  3. Do NOT submit to any field evaluations.
  4. Do NOT take any breath test at the scene.
  5. If you think you would register above the legal limit, DON’T take any state test.
 

In this particular case, I was able to find a compassionate prosecutor who agreed to dismiss the DUI charge. One would think that if a person was trying to do the right thing by getting off the road, the State would give you a break. However, this rarely happens in the DUI world. Therefore, you need to exercise your Constitutional rights and protect yourself as much as you can.

For more DUI arrest advice you can connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Google+.  Keep reading the MRGADUI blog for the latest 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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About Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

mr ga duiThe best way to avoid DUI is to understand the effects that alcohol has on your body and how much you can drink before becoming legally impaired. Blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) is the measure of the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. The legal limit for BAC in Georgia is .08 for adults and .02 for individuals under 21. There are many factors that affect an individual’s BAC including the following:
  • The strength of the alcohol one is consuming. According to the CDC, a standard drink equals the amount of alcohol found in one of the following: 12 oz of beer, 8 oz of malt liquor, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz (or a shot) of distilled spirits or liquor.
  • The number of drinks you consume and the amount of time during which you consume them. If you have three drinks within one hour, your blood alcohol level will increase more than if you consume two drinks over the period of three hours.
  • Whether or not you’ve eaten. Drinking on an empty stomach means your body will absorb the alcohol more quickly than if you’d had a large meal before a drink.
  • If you’re a woman. Women’s bodies generally have more fat and less water than the male body and because fat cells do not absorb alcohol as well as other cells, more alcohol is left in the body when women drink.
  • How much you weigh. The more you weigh, the more water is present in your body to help dilute the alcohol in your system.
  • How old you are. Older people’s bodies do not process alcohol as easily as younger adults do.
Once you drink alcohol, it is absorbed

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4 Simple Rules Explained: Rule 2

mrgaduiRule 2 is: DON’T SUBMIT TO ANY ROADSIDE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS Once the officer has asked you to step out of your car, he is going to then ask if you would mind doing some “field sobriety tests.” Sometimes the officer will phrase it this way: “Do you mind taking some roadside evaluations to make sure you are ok to drive?” My experience is that MOST people agree to take the roadside evaluations because they believe that by

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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.
Atlanta GA Dui Attorney