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Georgia DUI Laws

  • June 29th, 2013

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a crime in Georgia. This crime has received extensive coverage by the media and is a highly debated topic in our society. In response to pressure from special interest groups, Georgia lawmakers have passed new DUI legislation, which includes mandatory jail time. Legal experts agree, the new Georgia DUI laws are tough on drinking drivers.

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Commonly Asked DUI Questions

  • June 21st, 2013

1) What do police officers look for when trying to find drunk drivers on the roadway?

The following list of clues indicate what police look for when trying to establish whether the driver being observed is impaired. The higher the clue is on the list, the higher the probability of impairment. The list is based on research by the National Highway Traffic Administration:

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Field Sobriety Tests

  • June 8th, 2013

Nearly all DUI cases tried in court will include some testimony regarding field sobriety testing (hereinafter "FST"). FST’s such as the One Leg Stand, Walk and Turn and Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (Eye Test) have gained prominence in recent years as seemingly effective, objective, easy to administer methods of determining impairment. Without adequate training, these tests are presented by the prosecution in court, with one goal in mind. To obtain a conviction! Unless these tests are subject to exacting scrutiny by defense lawyers, a jury may be swayed by their "objective and scientific" nature. Indeed, at first glance, the FST’s seem simple enough for some sober people to perform. It is a defense lawyers duty to demonstrate that these initial observations are not always as conclusive as one might think. The single best way to call these evaluations into doubt is by knowing how these FST’s work and through a thorough and well prepared cross examination. George Stein is trained and certified in field sobriety testing. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject. His advanced training gives him the advantage when it comes to cross examining the arresting officer at trial.

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Breath Testing Machine

  • June 1st, 2013

The state of Georgia requires DUI subjects to submit to a blood, breath or urine test. Refusal to submit to such a test can result in license suspension. However, prior to taking the state’s test, law enforcement officers must advise a subject of certain rights, including the right to independent testing. An arresting officer’s failure to properly provide notice of such rights is a basis for having the state’s test results kept out of evidence at your trial.

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Underage Drivers Laws

  • May 26th, 2013

Georgia’s drunk driving laws are tough on everyone, and even tougher on drivers under the age of 21. As an underage driver, penalties can be quite severe.

A driver 21 or over is not deemed guilty of drunk driving unless his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more. If you are under 21, however, you violate the law if you have 0.02 grams or more blood alcohol concentration within 3 hours of driving.

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Female DUI Issues

  • May 20th, 2013

Women need to be aware of the specific issues that face them when they’re arrested for DUI in Georgia.

Although men account for an overwhelming majority of the arrests for DUI, the percentage of women arrested for DUI is steadily rising. In 1979, women made up only 9% of the total arrests for DUI in Georgia, whereas in 2003, 17% of those arrested for DUI were women.

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Vehicular Homicide Laws

  • May 13th, 2013

Vehicular homicide is the unlawful killing of another with the use of a vehicle. Unlike murder, vehicular homicide does not require intent to kill. Georgia’s vehicular homicide statute provides for a wide range of punishment, depending on the circumstances in which the offense is committed.

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Free Driver’s Rights Card

  • May 6th, 2013

Download your FREE Driver’s Rights Card!

If you are stopped by the police and questioning goes beyond a request for your driver’s license and insurance card, you should hand the attached card to the officer. Remain silent until the officer has read the card. Make sure you have read the 8 points on the card, so that you understand your rights at the time of the stop.

Click here to view the card for printing.

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DON’T OPEN THE DOOR - Keeping Suppressed Evidence Out!

  • May 1st, 2013

Perhaps the most valuable tool in the DUI lawyer’s arsenal is the pre-trial motion to suppress evidence incriminatory to a client’s cause. Such evidence most frequently takes the form of blood or breath test results or the record of the client’s past driving record or convictions.[1] Solid grounds for suppression can be found where that evidence was illegally obtained or where its probative value is outweighed by its prejudicial effect. Evidence so suppressed is no longer admissible as part of the State’s case in chief (DUI in Georgia). Yet, even when the motion to suppress is granted, the danger that evidence presents has not yet passed. The State has a powerful weapon of its own, that of impeachment. The ability to impeach allows the prosecutor to admit the exhibits (or raise the issues) not as substantive evidence, but solely for the purpose of contradicting some element of the defendant’s testimony. When so admitted, impeaching evidence may be used only to assail the defendant’s credibility, not to prove guilt.

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THE COMMANDMENTS OF EFFECTIVE APPELLATE PREPARATION

  • April 28th, 2013

During the course of a jury trial, you hear the prosecution ask a question that refers back to evidence you successfully excluded at an earlier point in the case. The time is 4:00 p.m., the jury’s attention is fading, and the trial judge has lost all patience with everyone in the courtroom. You begin to feel uneasy as you ask yourself: “Should I face the wrath and object? Or should I let this one slide?” You know full-well the question is improper, but you also consider your setting, your client’s interests, and the prospect of belaboring a point you’d rather see as “water under the bridge.”

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Breath Alcohol Tests with the Intoxilyzer 5000

  • April 21st, 2013

This Summer, researchers in California discovered that obese, or formerly obese, people who have had gastric bypass surgery can register blood alcohol levels well above the legal limit after consuming just one glass of wine. And in another study, at the University of North Dakota, scientists have concluded there can be a drastic affect in the metabolism of alcohol based on your zinc intake. In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers conclude that people with low zinc intake had nearly two times the level of detectable alcohol versus people consuming the same number of drinks without any such zinc deficiency. Plus, the study found that the alcohol levels remained higher for longer durations for those with low zinc levels.

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Is it possible to win a DUI case in court?

  • April 15th, 2013

There are about 40,000 DUI arrests in Georgia annually. Of course not all of these arrests are legitimate. The police are often overzealous and this sometimes results in a bad arrest. Since there are many legitimate defenses to this crime, a qualified DUI defense lawyer can often help you get your charges dismissed. If you feel that you were falsely accused by the police or just not treated fairly, then you should call my office immediately.

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What is the 10 day rule?

  • April 1st, 2013

If you refuse to take a blood, breath or urine test, then you are facing a one year suspension of your drivers license in Georgia. In order to avoid this nasty one year suspension, you must request a special hearing in writing to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. If you fail to request the hearing within 10 business days of your arrest, your license will automatically be suspended. You should take note that if you do take a blood, breath or urine test and you score a .10 or higher, you must also request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Failure to do so will result in a suspended license.

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