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Athens GA DUI Law Blog

What is the "open container law"?

A driver in Georgia may face penalties for driving with an open can, bottle or container that contains an alcoholic beverage. Georgia law defines an open container as a container with any amount of alcoholic beverage with a broken seal or with a portion of its contents removed. Both drivers and passengers are subject to this law whenever a car is on the road or on the shoulder of a road.

In the event that the driver is the only person in the car, he or she shall be deemed to be in possession of any open container in the vehicle. An exception to the law exists for those who transport people for compensation or for those driving a mobile home. The penalty for having an open container in a vehicle is a fine that will not exceed $200.

Strategies to defend against a DUI

Georgia residents who have been charged with DUI may face a number of consequences upon conviction. However, there are several different strategies that might help a person avoid a guilty verdict or excessive penalization. Our firm could assist a client build a defense case that fits his or her circumstances and seeks to protect that defendant's rights.

We represent clients that are facing a variety of charges associated with impaired driving allegations. Regardless of a client's alleged blood alcohol content, our attorneys may be able to help individuals seek a dismissal of DUI charges before a trial begins. By using a number of strategies such as questioning if an officer had reasonable suspicion to pull over a defendant or suggesting that officials lacked probable cause when making an arrest, our firm might be able to argue against the charges and the sanctions associated with a conviction.

Georgia man detained after alleged police chase

Georgia police took a man into custody after he allegedly led them on a high-speed chase on Oct. 9. Officers said the man was driving while intoxicated, traveling at high speeds along U.S. Highway 27. The chase reportedly ended when the man attempted to flee on foot.

Police said they suspected the man was driving drunk because he was driving erratically, weaving in and out of lanes at inconsistent speeds. They attempted to stop the vehicle around 1 a.m. at an intersection. While the car allegedly attempted to evade police, it collided with a sign near a parking lot and then hit a curb in front of a gas station. One witness said that sometime during the chase, they heard the car strike an unknown object near a fast-food restaurant.

Georgia laws concerning alcohol and minors

In Georgia, state regulations regarding underage drinking and possession of alcohol by minors mirror those set by many other states. With few exceptions, most states enforce strict laws with regard to to these issues.

For legal purposes, a "minor" is generally defined as any individual under the age of 21. Some state rules regarding possession apply strictly to evidence of alcohol in a minor's body, though others dictate that a minor who is unaccompanied and has alcohol on his or her person is "in possession" and may face charges. When a state requires that a minor have alcohol in his or her system in order to be charged, the presence of alcohol is usually verified by by a blood, breath or urine test.

Georgia man slams car into patrol vehicle in alleged DUI accident

According to Gwinnett police officials, a 19-year-old White County man slammed his 2015 Kia Optima into the back of a deputy's cruiser while the official was working in a traffic safety detail off-duty in a construction zone. The accident occurred around 11:00 p.m. on Sept. 24 on Interstate 85 between Indian Trail Lilburn Road and Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

Police say the driver was driving in the HOT lane. The deputy was partially parked in the lane with his lights flashing; construction crew members were busy completing repairs to the lane when the collision occurred. The 32-year-old deputy suffered non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the accident. He was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center for medical treatment as a result.

Some drivers eligible for limited permits after DUI convictions

Georgia residents who are accused of DUI may see their driver's licenses suspended as a result of the charges against them. Many people facing drunk driving charges may wonder how they can return to their normal routines at work, school or other important places as they move through the legal process.

The Georgia Department of Driver Services may issue a limited permit after a person's driver's license is suspended as a result of a DUI conviction. Limited permits may be issued to people who need to drive to work or school, to a medical or pharmaceutical provider for treatment or to alcohol or drug treatment facilities and support groups. DDS sometimes places restrictions on limited permits such as where a person may drive to, the travel routes they may take, when they can drive to these places and which vehicle they may use.

Georgia man charged with DUI after early morning accident

Police in Georgia believe that a 30-year-old man was driving under the influence when he was involved in a two-vehicle crash that left a Savannah woman critically injured in the early morning hours of Sept. 22. The man has been charged with DUI, and he was transported to the Chatham County Detention Center after receiving medical treatment in Savannah. The accident occurred on the Abercorn Street Extension near Rio Road in Savannah at approximately 2:05 a.m.

According to a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police report, the man's SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed as it approached a construction zone in the westbound lanes of the Abercorn Extension. Police say that the SUV struck a number of barrels, which had been placed in the roadway to close off the outer lanes, before striking the rear of the woman's car. The force of the impact turned the car sideways and propelled it into a steamroller. Construction workers subsequently stopped the SUV.

DUI Less Safe and DUI Per Se in Georgia

Many Georgia residents believe that they have nothing to fear from the police if they are driving with a blood alcohol level lower than the state's .08 percent limit, but that may not always be the case. While driving with a blood alcohol level above the limit could lead to a DUI Per Se charge, a count of DUI Less Safe could be leveled against a motorist even if they have a blood alcohol level below .08 percent.

Georgia law forbids the operation of a motor vehicle when the driver is impaired to the point that their driving would be less safe. This charge may be filed when an apparently intoxicated motorist refuses to submit to a toxicology test or clearly demonstrates that their driving is impaired even when such a test finds their blood alcohol level to be below the .08 percent limit. However, the majority of DUI Less Safe charges are filed against drivers pulled over by a Georgia State Patrol task force known as the Nighthawks.

Utility pole severely damaged in Georgia DUI crash

A 20-year-old man allegedly crashed his car into a utility pole on Waugh Street near Dalton High School around 5 a.m. on Sept. 18. The man reportedly tried to run away, but he was later apprehended by authorities. Police say that he was treated for minor injuries before being taken into custody on a drunk driving charge as well as for driving on a suspended license.

It was not reported what led police to believe that the man was intoxicated. They also claim that the man was speeding when he crashed into the pole. Traffic had to be closed on Waugh Street after the accident occurred and once again several hours later to allow crews to repair the pole.

4 injured in Georgia DUI accident

A 75-year-old Georgia man is being charged in an accident that happened on Sept. 11 around 8 p.m. According to police, the man was driving a Buick LeSabre along Long Branch Road in northeast Georgia when he crossed the center line and crashed into a Volkswagen Jetta.

The Jetta was hit head-on, and its 19-year-old driver was later flown to Atlanta Medical Center for his injuries. The two passengers were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center while the Buick driver was taken to Gainesville for treatment. All of the individuals were described as having injuries that were not life-threatening. Of the four, only one, a 20-year-old passenger in the Jetta, was wearing a seat belt. Authorities say they plan to charge the Buick driver with seat belt violation, DUI, two counts of felony serious injury by vehicle, driving on the wrong side of the roadway and failure to maintain a lane.

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