Tag Archives: defensive driving tips

Teen Driving Under Your Influence

Recent studies show that young drivers make up the highest percentage of drivers involved in motor vehicle crashes:  the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 187,000 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 were injured in motor vehicle crashes and an additional 1,963 drivers were killed. Though, the most troubling fact is that most teenage car crashes are 100 percent preventable.

Because of driving inexperience and unsafe driving habits, teenage drivers are more prone to engage in reckless or distracted driving. Statistics show they are more likely to speed, neglect seatbelts, text, and even drink while driving. They are also unable to recognize dangerous situations or poor road conditions where these habits can contribute to serious injuries – or even death.

As a parent, it’s imperative to discuss safe driving behavior and stress these types of consequences. Here are a few topics you should be sure to discuss with your teen:

1. Cell phone use– Regardless of age or experience, cell phone use is always dangerous while driving. Talking on the phone and texting while driving are both extremely distracting for any driver because it interferes with keeping focus on the road. Teens should consider turning their cell phones off, or even storing it somewhere out of reach while they drive to avoid the temptation.

2. Limiting number of passengers– Like cell phones, friends can also be distracting for any teen driver. Statistics show that teen drivers are more likely to engage in risky driving habits with peers than when they’re alone. More passengers in a vehicle heighten the risk of distraction.

3. Seat belt use– This is something all drivers should do, not just teens. Seatbelts are the single most effective tool for saving lives and preventing injuries. Seat belts can make the difference between life and death.

4. Substance abuse– No substance abuse should be tolerated, especially for underage teens. Any amount of alcohol for an individual under 21 raises their risk of receiving a DUI in addition to jeopardizing lives. You should also discuss the risks of being a passenger in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking or using other illegal substances.

5. Reviewing state driving laws– Discuss curfew times set by the state and the minimum number of practice hours required before getting a driver’s license. Ensure your teen fulfills all requirements and sets a foundation for safe driving. In addition to the state of Georgia’s driving laws, you should also discuss your expectations and restrictions of their driving privileges.

A parent will always worry about their teen hitting the roads for the first time, but educating them about safe habits, along with the consequences and rules of driving will help reduce the chances of an accident. Check out my website for more information on driving issues and DUI help and be sure to connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

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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4 Simple Rules Explained: Rule 1

mrgaduiIf you have my card or one of my koozies, you have heard about My 4 Simple Rules if Stopped by the Police. The four simple rules come with a disclaimer that tells you to go to my website for more specific information. The reason, of course, is that nothing is ever simple when it comes to dealing with police traffic stops. Here I’ll explain the reasons behind the rules. Rule 1: Never admit to drinking (or anything else). The first thought you should always have when encountering a police stop is, “The police officer is an agent of the government; he has the ability to cause my loss of freedom and loss of drivers license.” When a police officer stops you, they so because they believe you have violated a traffic offense. From the very start, their minds are focused on gathering evidence which they can use against you to convict you of whatever crime they believe you committed.  Your focus from the start should be NOT to provide the officer with evidence that you do NOT legally have to provide! What do you have to provide if stopped by the police?

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City Council Votes No to Facebook DUI Public Shaming

    If the highly publicized DUI accusations of former Gwinnett County Commissioner Charles Banister or Tampa football star Mike Williams are any example, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a crime that is prevalent nation-wide.   The town of Huntington Beach, California is particularly familiar with this type of headline.   This coastal vacation destination of 200,000 people is ranked first, out of the entire state of California, for the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths among comparable cities.  In an effort to bequeath this title to someone else, Huntington Beach Councilman Devin Dwyer proposed a public shaming of repeat DUI offenders on the city’s Facebook page.      According to the Fox News report released last week, Dwyer’s fellow council members voted against the proposal for fear that the action would “alienate residents and impact the presumption of innocence for suspects.”  The Huntington council also stated that implementing the policy would mean certain damage to the city’s image. In the state of Georgia, if this is not your first DUI or you’ve been convicted multiple times of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol  (second DUI, third DUI, etc.), you can expect to see a report of your repeat arrest (and photo) published in the newspaper along with the following:
  • Paying a $600-$1,000 fine**In addition to money lost on account of diminished wages, legal fees, damages, etc.
  • Spending 72 hours in jail
  • Serving 30 days community service
  • Undergoing alcohol or drug treatment
  • Completing a mandatory Risk Reduction Program
  • Serving 12 months probation
  • Surrendering all license plates for cars registered in offender’s name
     As an Atlanta DUI and traffic attorney, I use my Facebook and Twitter page not to shame drivers, but provide them with news and advice to assist in minimizing the embarrassment and disruption created when arrested for a traffic-related offense.  To read more from my latest blog visit the MRGADUI website.

Another DUI arrest dismissed for lack of evidence

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams, who was arrested in mid-November on suspicion of driving under the influence, will not face charges after his urinalysis came back negative, the county state attorney’s office said Friday.  Here is another example of why you should never assume someone guilty of DUI just because they are arrested.  Here are the facts in Williams case:

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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.
defensive driving tips