Do Not Drink And Drive in Zebulon – If You Do, At Least Consider This
Drinking and driving is not only dangerous for the other guy but also the driver and the passengers of the car itself. You should refrain from drinking and driving as there is a significantly increased risk of car accidents, damage to property and injury to people. Prevention is always better than cure. Hence, drinking and driving should not go together … in fact it is stupid. Heavy penalties can be impounded on the accused, like suspension of driver’s license, fines, a term in jail and confiscation of vehicle registration plates.
Every year there are thousands of people getting hurt or dying due to drivers under the influence. About 20% of the traffic fatalities all over the world take place due to drunk driving. We, like responsible citizens, should understand the ill effects of drunk driving and refrain from doing it. DUI or Drinking under the Influence of Intoxicants may cause problems in the present and in the future. The police should carry random checks on drunk drivers, especially at night to catch the DUI offenders and reduce the menace. A breath analyzer test is the most common test used to catch the offenders.
Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs In Zebulon
Also, studies show that half of the offenders caught were not under the influence of alcohol but other banned substances like drugs. Parents should warn their children against drunk driving and show their own daily lives to their children by example. They should make their children understand the importance of being a responsible citizen. And, they should do nothing to bring any harm or any injury to people including something as irresponsible as drunk driving.
There are certain measures that can be implemented to curb drunk driving. Regular checks for drunk drivers on the road can be carried out by the law. Offenders should be severely punished in the form of levying heavy fines and penalties. Rehabilitation programs should be conducted for those people who can’t kiss the habit goodbye. Every Georgia should provide adequate information on the bad effects of DUI at the time of the driver’s exams.
Many cars will have technological devices available like alarm systems in case the driver inside falls asleep. They will soon be fitted with anti collision devices so that the car brakes automatically if it is about to crash with another object in the front or the back.
Remember by being a responsible citizen you set an example to other people as well. Do not unnecessarily force others to drink at your parties. See to it that the party gets over well within time so that people can leave early. And also provide alternate means of transportation for those that do drink.
If you are arrested for DUI, then hiring a Zebulon DUI lawyer proves to be the best decision. Driving under the influence can have serious consequences on you if you are involved in a car accident in Georgia. You may face consequences like jail or prison, penalties or fines, vehicle impoundment, etc. The DUI lawyer in Zebulon is familiar with the intricacies and procedures involved with DUI charges and are your best bet if you find yourself in such a predicament.
DUI - DWI - What You Should Know?
Driving Under the Influence ("DUI") is a unique crime in American society because, quite literally, it is the one crime that almost any adult citizen can find himself or herself charged with. Alcohol is served at virtually every restaurant or evening social event. Every day thousands of otherwise-law-abiding citizens leave such events and drive away even though they are technically "under the influence" of alcohol.
The fact is that most adult Americans drink alcohol on at least occasional situations. And, most adult Americans live in non-urban areas where taxicabs and public transportation are not easy options, particularly in the evening hours. Everyone knows that it is preferable to have a "designated driver" who is not drinking and can drive you home. Everyone also knows that driving under the influence is illegal and can have severe ramifications. The reality, however, is that every day good and honest people find themselves charged with DUI.
It is important for all drivers to have a basic understanding of DUI law, how police officers conduct DUI investigations and the rights and options available to DUI defendants.
I. DUI Law -- The Basics
For many people charged with DUI, the arrest process is truly terrifying and dehumanizing. Many (or most) DUI defendants pride themselves on being productive and positive citizens, so being handcuffed and treated like a criminal can be a life-altering experience. A DUI arrest is less overwhelming and intimidating, however, when people have a basic understanding of DUI law.
A person may be charged with DUI if he or she drives a motor vehicle on a roadway under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police may stop a car for suspicion of DUI only if they have "probable cause" to believe that the driver has committed a crime or violation. Police may not randomly stop a car for no reason (although in the case of properly established "sobriety checkpoints, the police are permitted to stop every car that passes the checkpoint).
The type of "crime" which can justify a police vehicle stop includes potential violations of the vehicle code (traffic violations) such as speeding, straddling a lane, turning with a wide radius, following another car too closely, braking erratically or driving at night with the headlights off. The police may also stop a vehicle if the registration or inspection is out-of-date (based on dated stickers on the car) or if they input the license plate into their computer system (which they are allowed to do) and there is some problem with the vehicle registration.
Georgia DUI law has a three-tiered punishment system depending on a person's blood-alcohol level. Penalties for DUI convictions increase with each tier. The least severe penalty applies for those who drive with a blood alcohol content of.08 to.099 percent. More severe penalties apply for those who drive with a blood alcohol content from.10 to.159 percent, and the harshest punishment applies to those with a blood alcohol content of.16 percent or greater. A person's blood alcohol level must be determined from blood drawn within two hours after the individual was in actual control of the vehicle (although exceptions exist for this two-hour "requirement").
People who "refuse" or decline to take a blood-alcohol test upon request of the police are deemed to be in the highest blood-alcohol content tier.
Georgia is one of the few states that has a "per se" law with respect to driving under the influence of various drugs. This means that if a person charged with DUI has any measurable amount of drugs in their system (even if the drug was ingested days or weeks prior to the arrest), they are punished as if they were in the highest alcohol level. Despite this "per se" law, some District Attorneys offices do have minimum levels for certain controlled substances and will not prosecute someone who drives with an amount in their system below these levels.
II. DUI Investigations After Police Are On The Scene
Police officers are taught that once they encounter a person who they suspect has been driving under the influence (which is typically after a traffic stop or arriving at the scene of an accident), they should conduct an appropriate investigation to confirm whether the person was driving under the influence. District Attorney's offices want such investigations to be thorough and legally appropriate so that they can prove the case if it proceeds to trial.
The first stop in conducting such an investigation is typically to engage the driver in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were developed as the result of research conducted in the mid 1970s for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA"). The purpose of this research was to develop standardized tests which would provide a reliable method of determining whether a person is intoxicated based on field sobriety tests.
The NHTSA has concluded that three tests, if systematically conducted according to strict guidelines, can predict whether a person may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The only three field sobriety tests approved by the NHTSA are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus ("HGN") test, the Walk-and-Turn test the One-Leg Stand test.
Police officers should be trained to look for established "scoring factors" or "clues" which must be evaluated in determining whether or not intoxication exists. A finding of intoxication should only arise once a certain number of clues are identified. If less then the certain level of clues are identified, the officer should conclude that there a high degree of probability of non-intoxication.
Was the person actually driving? To prove a DUI case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was physically in control of a motor vehicle on a roadway. If the police cannot prove the person was actually driving (such as in the case of an accident where no one witnessed who was driving or if someone is asleep in a parked car) or that the person was driving on a roadway (such as when a person is stopped in certain parking areas or driveways), the person may have a legitimate defense to the charge of DUI.
Did the police have probable cause to stop the vehicle and question the defendant? The police need to have probable cause to stop a person's vehicle, question that person and conduct a subsequent investigation unless a Constitutionally-recognized exception applies. Generally speaking, evidence will be suppressed in a DUI case if the officer did not have probable cause to (a) stop the vehicle, (b) detain the person, and (c) arrest that person. Sobriety roadblocks can present an exception to the "probably cause" standard and present a different set of legal and factual issues.
Was the person read his rights / Miranda warnings? Incriminating statements may be suppressed if the proper Miranda warnings were not given at the appropriate time if a person was subjected to custodial interrogation. Miranda warnings are usually not an issue in DUI prosecutions because prosecutors rarely seek to use a person's words against them at a DUI trial. However, if the prosecutor does seek to use the person's words at trial, the Miranda warnings can become an issue.
Was a person appropriately informed of the Implied Consent warnings? If the officer did not advise a person of the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test as part of a DUI investigation, or provides inadequate or incorrect information, then any GADOT suspension for failing to take such a test can be avoided.
Did the person truly appear to be "under the influence"? At a DUI trial, a police officer is generally allowed to offer his or her opinion regarding whether a driver was intoxicated. Naturally, an officer's observations and opinions in this regard can be cross-examined. Appropriate questioning can include (1) the nature and circumstances surrounding any field sobriety tests (was the weather a factor? did the defendant have any pre-existing medical issues? was the defendant wearing shoes or clothing that affected field sobriety testing) (2) the subjective (and perhaps predisposed) nature of what an officer considers as "failing" a field sobriety test, (3) whether the officer complied with standardized field sobriety guidelines, and (4) whether the field sobriety tests were witnessed by any third party or videotaped by the police.
Was the person's blood-alcohol concentration tested accurately and appropriately? There are a wide range of potential issues with blood, breath and urine testing for blood-alcohol content. Blood testing involves a recognized margin of error and variance which must be considered in evaluating test results. Many toxicologists contend that the margin of error of blood testing at state-accredited labs should be presumed to be no less than 9 percent. With respect to breath tests, some toxicologists maintain that the margin of error ought to be considered at 10 percent. Most toxicologists agree that it is also important to understand the physiological makeup of the person charged (male or female, height and weight) before offering a final opinion on the appropriate margin of error or variance with respect to blood alcohol testing.
Driving Under the Influence is a charge that can affect almost anyone. Most people drink alcohol at least occasionally and live in areas where taxicabs and public transportation are not always a realistic option. The result is that many people find themselves, at some point in their lives, driving an automobile after consuming alcohol.
A DUI charge is almost always a traumatic and upsetting experience to the person charged. Many DUI defendants are good and law-abiding persons who are not used to being charged with a crime or being required to appear in court.
Fortunately, our law recognizes that people charged with a first-offense DUI frequently deserve a second chance at a clean criminal record. With the availability of first-time offender's programs such as ARD, many people in our society have been charged with DUI, navigated through the system, and emerged from the process to live productive and fulfilling lives.
It is important for anyone charged with a DUI to have a basic understand of the law and the available rights and options. Armed with this information, and appropriate legal representation, persons charged with DUI can address the charges in a responsible way and ultimately put the entire experience behind them.
Penalties For Multiple DUI Convictions
Georgia DUI Law
Georgia has specific laws in place to deal with motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The penalties associated with a DUI conviction, as well as the stigma of having a criminal record, can change your life forever. It may be difficult to find a job because of your criminal record and it will be difficult to get from one place to another because of the license suspensions and revocations that occur when you are charged with or convicted of driving under the influence. Hiring a Georgia DUI lawyer is one of your best options in terms of examining evidence, having access to expert witnesses, and guiding you through the legal process. While it won't guarantee that you will win your case, having a Georgia DUI attorney represent you can give you the best chance of winning your case or minimizing the penalties imposed if you are convicted.
Georgia DUI Laws
In Georgia, there are two theories under which a DUI case can be prosecuted. One is a traditional DUI case. In a traditional DUI case, the prosecutor simply has to prove that a driver had impaired driving abilities after consuming alcohol or unable to operate a motor vehicle as safely as they would be able to if they had not consumed alcohol. Georgia has a provision in its DUI laws that is an inference about the level of blood alcohol concentration needed to impair drivers. According to this inference, a driver is inferred not to be impaired if a blood alcohol test determines that their BAC is less than 0.05%. However, prosecutors can still work their way around this inference by using information observed or gathered by law enforcement officials. If there was an accident or a driver exhibited bad driving habits, this inference can be refuted. Prosecutors may use information such as the smell of alcohol on the driver's breath, an intoxicated appearance, and failure to pass sobriety tests as additional evidence of impairment.
Georgia DUI Criminal Penalties
The penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:
o Fines of $300 to $1,000 with additional costs and assessments
o 10 days to 12 months of jail time with 24 hours minimum; persons under age 21 may
be allowed to serve on weekends and must be separated from other prisoners
o Minimum of 40 hours of community service
o DUI driving school
o License suspension
The penalties for a second DUI offense are as follows:
o Fines of $600 to $1,000 with additional costs and assessments
o 90 days to 12 months in jail with 72 hours of mandatory jail time; may be served in
an inpatient treatment facility
o Probation of 12 months or 12 months minus any jail time served
o Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment assessment
o License suspension
o Publication of photo and identifying information in newspaper
Because these penalties can destroy your reputation and make your life very difficult, hiring a Georgia DUI lawyer can help you to prepare your defense and minimize the impact of this charge on your life.