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Traffic Laws Many Drivers Do Not Know Exist

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Athens criminal defense attorney Kim T. Stephens discusses a few traffic laws that police say many drivers, especially young drivers and college students, probably do not know exist:

  1.  You can be pulled over for going the speed limit.  Georgia law requires drivers in the left lane on a highway, interstate or expressway to move over if a faster car approaches from behind.
  2. You must move over one lane not just for police cars, but also for assistance vehicles and garbage trucks.  Under Georgia’s “Move-Over Law,” drivers must move over one lane for all types of emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the highway including police cars, HERO units, ambulances, firetrucks, and even garbage trucks.  If heavy traffic will not allow you to move over, the law says you should slow down to 10 miles per hour below the speed limit.
  3.  It’s illegal to use the center lane to merge into traffic.  The center “turn lane” cannot be legally used for any purposes except to make a left turn. Drivers must enter the center lane 300 feet or less from the location where they will turn left, per Georgia law.
  4.  You cannot wear headphones in both ears while driving.  You can wear a headphone in one ear but not both.
  5.  Neither the driver nor the passenger can have an open alcoholic beverage.
  6. No part of your tag can be obstructed from view.  Tag frames and tinted covering of tags that obstruct any portion of the tag are illegal in Georgia.
  7.  Bicycles, utility carts, golf carts, tractors, lawnmowers, horses and other things that transport you are classified as vehicles for certain purposes in Georgia.  Law enforcement officers in Georgia have arrested people for DUI while driving all of these items.  It will be interesting to see if “hover boards” and Segway type devices will be classified as vehicles for DUI purposes.
  8.  Georgia law requires car headlights to be turned on when it’s raining.  Drivers must turn on headlights when driving in the rain.  Having automatic lights that don’t turn on during a storm is not a defense.  
  9.  If all the traffic lights go out at an intersection, the law requires drivers to treat it as a four-way stop.  Please be aware of this requirement during this stormy time of year.
  10.  Finally, and most importantly, IT IS ILLEGAL TO TEXT OR DO ANYTHING ELSE WITH A MOBILE PHONE WHILE DRIVING A VEHICLE OTHER THAN MAKING OR RECEIVING A CALL – EVEN IF THE CAR IS STOPPED.  It is illegal for all drivers under 18 years old to use a cell phone in a moving vehicle for any reason.  Understand this, a driver cannot use any wireless communications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, social media platform, or any other internet data unless legally parked off the roadway.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH DUI OR ANY CRIMINAL OFFENSE CALL KIM T. STEPHENS TODAY AT 706. 548. 3933 FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE

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DUI Attorney Kim T. Stephens on New Georgia DUI Law 2017

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Criminal defense and DUI attorney Kim T. Stephens explains the new Georgia DUI law, effective July 1, 2017:

On July 1, 2017, Georgia began enforcing a new DUI ignition interlock law, the first on the books since 1999. Under the new Georgia DUI law, drivers arrested with a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, and drivers who refuse a blood alcohol test will now have the option to install an ignition interlock device into their vehicle, instead of handing over their license. So, for Georgia DUI cases made on or after July 1, 2017, the limited permit lasts for 45 days, but electing to either follow the traditional Georgia DDS (GA DMV) appeal OR taking the ignition interlock device option must be exercised within “30 calendar days.” Only Georgia licensees, age 21 and over, arrested for their 1st DUI in 5 years in Georgia (absent other driver’s license issues like driving on a suspended license) can take advantage of this new choice.

For eligible motorists arrested for drunk driving, this additional option for seeking to lessen the harsh impact of not being allowed to drive after a DUI arrest is a welcomed alternative. It is not the best option for everyone, though, because it does have drawbacks like eliminating your right to file a DDS GA appeal of the driver’s license suspension. Stated differently, a driver must make an election within 30 days of his or her arrest to appeal the DDS GA license suspension OR to install the ignition interlock device for 1 full year, without regard to the outcome of the criminal DUI case.

For a myriad of reasons including the complexity and potential costs of making the wrong decision about whether to install the ignition interlock device after a 1st DUI arrest, call and retain criminal defense attorney Kim T. Stephens today so that he can explain to you the relationship between the criminal case for driving under the influence and the related DDS GA administrative license suspension aspect of the DUI in Georgia and help you make the right decisions during the first 30 days after arrest.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH DUI OR ANY CRIMINAL OFFENSE CALL KIM T. STEPHENS TODAY AT 706. 548. 3933 FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND A POWERFUL DEFENSE

 

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