georgia license suspension

New Changes in Law as Result of SB100

Georgia SB 100, which was passed in this year’s legislative session, changes several laws which previously had provided mandatory license suspensions.  In particular, the offense of a minor in possession of alcohol and the offense of possession of drugs NO LONGER CARRY MANDATORY LICENSE SUSPENSIONS if they are not involved in a DUI.

mugshot (small)While these offenses no longer carry mandatory suspensions and will not be reported to the Department of Driver Services (DDS), it is important to note that they still remain on a person’s arrest record if the person was arrested and fingerprinted. As a result, it’s still important to hire an attorney to make sure that the correct plea is entered so the arrest record can be restricted.

Here is a summary of the changes:

  1. 3-3-23.1 Minor in Possession of Alcohol: Deletes paragraph 3; no longer results in driver’s license suspension. Also deletes the suspension under 40-5-57.1(a) relating to suspension for under age possession of alcohol.
  1. 40-5-22(d) allows DDS to issue limited permit under 40-5-64 if license has been suspended due to suspension in another state, if otherwise eligible for such a limited permit.
  1. No mandatory suspension for use of fraudulent or fictitious license under 40-5-54 (a)(6); or any felony violation of Article I, Chapter 9, Title 16, if such offense is related to an identification document as defined in 16-9-4.
  1. No suspension for drug convictions under 40-5-75 ; still suspended for DUI Drugs, although eligible for limited permit IF in Drug Court Program.
  1. No more license suspensions under 40-5-57.2(which is repealed), for conviction of driving off without paying for gas, 40-6-255.

 

SB 100 is just one example of how Georgia’s laws are constantly changing, and why it’s crucial to work with a traffic lawyer who specializes in your area of need and who stays up-to-date with all the new laws, decisions, and precedents while understanding the impact they have on your case. To discuss your case and how I may be able to help, schedule a consultation with me, Mickey G. Roberts.

So You Got a Ticket Out of State: What You Need to Know

Summertime usually means traveling to the beach or mountains or lake. If you are planning on driving out of the state this summer, here are some scenarios to think about:

  1. Your teenager gets an out-of-state speeding ticket in Gulfshores, Alabama. How does that affect his/her license in GA?

If the speed is high enough that it would suspend the license in Georgia, then the Georgia license will eventually be suspended. If the offense is one that would suspend the license in Alabama, then the Georgia license will also eventually be suspended, and your teen will have to reinstate driving privileges in Alabama BEFORE getting their Georgia license reinstated.

  1. You get a DUI in Florida, and you have a Georgia license.

If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Florida, your Georgia license will be suspended. You will NOT be able to get a limited permit to drive to work, and you will only be able to get license reinstatement in Georgia once you have satisfied Florida’s reinstatement provisions.

  1. You receive a ticket out of state which can suspend a driver’s license either in the other state or Georgia.

Your Georgia license will be suspended and you will not be able to get Georgia license reinstatement until you have satisfied all the issuing state’s reinstatement procedures.

For some reason, many folks think that an out of state ticket has no bearing on their GA license. Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Therefore, you should call or email me, Mickey Roberts, PC, if you or your family member receives a ticket out of state.

Georgia Driver’s License: Right or Privilege?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving a car for the first time by yourself as a teenage driver: you’ve completed numerous hours of driver’s ed., passed the written test and aced the driving portion – congratulations, you’re a licensed Georgia driver!  What seems like a rite of passage for individuals over 16 year of age is considered a “driver’s privilege” in the eyes of the law when licenses are issued.  This means that what the State giveth, it can also taketh, and yes, they will suspend your license for a number of reasons.  I would like to share with you five examples (of course the list isn’t limited to these five) of such reasons that can lead to a Georgia license suspension:

    Georgia Drivers License Right or Privilege

  1. DUI: driving under the influence (DUI) is one of Georgia’s most common traffic offenses.  This means that if you are pulled over by a cop, consent to field sobriety tests , and consent to a breath test that show your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .08 grams (.02 for under 21 drivers), then you can be convicted of DUI and your license suspended for a predetermined period of time.
  2. Too many points on your driving record: certain traffic convictions carry point values.  For instance speeding ranges from 2-6 points, depending on your speed, while unlawfully passing a school bus is 6 points.  If you accumulate a certain total of points in a short period of time (it’s dependent on your age and point value assigned to a specific conviction), then your license can be suspended.
  3. Hit & run: this refers to hitting another vehicle and driving away before the accident has been reported.  This is considered a serious infraction as it implies that you consciously chose to drive off and as a result, hit and runs are considered a mandatory suspendable offense.
  4. Failure to pay child support: if you have been mandated by the courts to pay child support and fail to do so, your name is added to a state-wide certified list of all persons in violation (this list is updated monthly).  If you have accumulated over 60 days’ worth of not paying then a licensing agency/department has the right to withhold your license until payment is made.
  5. School attendance: a teenage driver under the age of 18 can have their license suspended for several reasons including, dropping out of school without graduating, having 10 or more unexcused absences in an academic year or pleading guilty to a number of offenses (such as drug or weapon possession, causing bodily harm to students/teachers, etc.).  Conduct infractions can lead to a one-year suspension or until the minor has turned 18.

As an experienced traffic and DUI lawyer, I not only defend people who have had their license suspended because of traffic offenses but I also help get license suspensions revoked.  Give me a call or contact MrGaDUI today if you have recently had your Georgia license suspended.  For more on the latest updates in DUI or traffic law, stay connected with me through my Mickey Roberts, P.C. Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page.

Vehicular Homicide Continued: Misdemeanor, Feticide, & Serious Injury Crashes

Last month, I filled you in on the ins and outs of felony vehicular homicide. To recap, determining felony vehicular homicide depends largely on the traffic violations committed, including reckless driving, DUI, fleeing/eluding, and leaving the scene of the accident. Generally, if found guilty of felony vehicular homicide in Georgia, you can expect a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison, though habitual violators can face up to 20 years.

As a seasoned traffic and DUI lawyer in Georgia, I have experience in defending cases involving other facets of vehicular homicide outside of felony, including misdemeanor, feticide, and serious injury crashes. All of these classifications have varying implications, but all involve a driver’s actions as the proximate cause of death or cause of serious injury. Vehicular homicide in the 2nd Degree is known as a misdemeanor. In Georgia, any person who causes the death of another person as a result of traffic violations other than the felony predicate offenses commits this offense.

For example, if you were to run a red light, crash into another car, and cause the death of another person, it would be classified as vehicular homicide in the 2nd Degree.  To be found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular homicide, the judge or jury is required to find that the person committed a traffic offense other than the felony vehicular homicide predicate offenses. Subsequently, it must be found that the person’s unlawful acts were the proximate cause of death. For this offense, you can be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months.

Another aspect of vehicular homicide is feticide by vehicle. The elements and punishment for felony feticide by vehicle are the same as felony vehicular homicide, with the same rule applying to misdemeanor vehicular homicide. Feticide by vehicle is defined as causing the death of an unborn child, at any stage of development that is carried in the womb, within a car crash.

Lastly, any person who brings about serious injury to another person as a result of reckless driving or DUI commits the offense of serious injury by vehicle. “Serious injury” is defined as “depriving a person of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage, which renders the body or any member thereof useless.” In order to be found guilty of serious injury by vehicle, the judge or jury must find that the person committed either reckless driving or DUI. Subsequently, they must find that the person’s unlawful acts were the proximate cause of serious injury. This offense is a felony that comes with a sentence from one to 15 years in prison. If convicted of serious injury by vehicle, the person will face 3 years of driver’s license suspension, no work permit available.

Navigating the various facets of vehicular homicide and serious injury crashes can be daunting and often times confusing. If you find yourself in any of the situations described, I urge you to contact a professional to aid in your case. To contact a reputable lawyer in Georgia, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for traffic law updates and news.

Radar Speed Detection Reinstituted in Gwinnett as Traffic Fatalities Jump

Have you recently noticed more police out in Gwinnett County using radar guns to catch speeders? In January 2011, only one year after the state of Georgia instituted the super speeder law, the option for Gwinnett County police and many city police in Gwinnett to use laser and radar speed detection was revoked due to an unresolved conflict between the county and city governments.




Although Georgia State Patrol could still use radar and laser detection to track drivers’ speed and Gwinnett police were able to catch speeders by pacing drivers, this revocation surely affected the number of speeding citations issued. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gwinnett County police alone issued 29,000 speeding citations in 2010, and three-fourths of these citations were determined through the help of laser and radar gun detection.




In February 2012, the conflict was finally resolved and radar guns were returned to Gwinnett police. The police influenced by the dispute reported they operated just fine without the radars, but were definitely glad to have them back. They believe drivers are more likely to slow down if they know police are on the roads clocking their speed. With recent car accidents earlier this month resulting in three traffic fatalities over the span of five days in Gwinnett, you can probably expect to see even more police on the road.




On Friday, April 6th, a box truck crashed into the rear of a Nissan Altima sending both vehicles into a pickup truck and a minivan on I-985 S under Buford Drive. The driver and passenger of the Nissan died on impact. The other individuals involved suffered minor injuries. Police determined speed and alcohol were not factors in this accident, but the box truck driver was charged with two counts of second degree vehicular homicide. Second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor resulting in a maximum sentence of 12 months, but first degree vehicular homicide is a felony and can result in 3 to 15 years in prison and license suspension.




The other traffic fatality in Gwinnett occurred April 10th at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Sugarloaf Parkway when a driver turned left in front of another driver as the stop light turned from green to yellow. The driver who was struck on the right side of his vehicle died at the scene. This incident is still under investigation to determine right of way and if speed was a factor, but driving while under the influence of alcohol did not seem to be a factor.




A leading Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, Mickey Roberts has seen many lives take an unfortunate turn due to drunk driving and vehicular homicide charges. He urges driver’s to drive carefully. Whether you drive carefully to avoid a speeding ticket or to prevent harm to yourself and other drivers, it’s important to be cautious as one bad decision can result in harsh consequences. If you have been arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact MrGaDUI today. Be sure to visit his website to learn more about driver’s rights, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ if you haven’t already.

Rates of Female DUI Increase throughout the Last Decade

A recent study published by The Century Council and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation shows that the number of females arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol has increased 36% over a decade. The report, which will be available in full later this month, states that while men are often seen as the primary offenders in drunk driving cases, the number of women involved has increased steadily since 1980 and was up 29% from 1997 to 2007.

Researchers examining the phenomenon offer various explanations for this spike in female DUI statistics. One theory is that more women are drinking and then driving than in past years. Some researchers believe that the spike in women’s arrests is due to changes in the legal system including fewer male arrests and changes to the DUI law enforcement policy that bring more attention to women whose blood alcohol content levels are more affected by alcohol consumption.

The study indicated, More

4 Simple Rules Explained: Rule 3

mrgaduiThe 3rd Simple rule is not so simple.  Should you take the State blood, breath, or urine test after you are arrested for DUI?

The answer is: it depends.

Under Georgia’s Implied Consent law, once you are arrested for DUI, you must submit to the officer’s request for a test of your blood, breath, urine,  or other bodily substance.  If you don’t, you face having your license suspended for a year with no work or school permit available.  After you submit to the officer’s test(s), you are then entitled to independent tests of your blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance. More

Driving Drunk Not Worth the Risk on Graduation Night

me georgia dui mickey robertsAt the age of 18, graduating from high school is usually the biggest accomplishment of a teens’ life up to that point, and prior to 18, getting a driver’s license is typically a teen’s biggest feat. Imagine you are graduating from high school. Completing thirteen years of school makes you feel carefree and eager to start the next phase of life, and your younger classmates follow your lead: taking advantage of every opportunity to party.

Now, imagine graduation night: the ceremony concludes, you and your classmates proceed to the after party where there is alcohol.   There is so much to celebrate, and so much excitement about what the future holds.  The only problem with this picture is that you still have that teenage mindset that you’re invincible. When the end of the night comes, you become more concerned with meeting curfew than protecting yourself and others from the dangers of driving under the influence. You consider calling your parents for a ride home, but you’re too afraid to admit to them that you have been drinking. Your best friend is facing the same dilemma, but you both decide that you’ll be fine—you live just down the road.

It’s the morning after graduation and the greatest party of your life. You pick up the phone to call you best friend to discuss last nights’ events. No answer. More

What does “under the influence” mean?

It’s common to hear commercials and prosecutors using the words, under the influence, to define DUI.  But what does “under the influence” really mean?  First, I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean: slurred speech, unsteady walk, and failure to stand on one leg without using your arms for balance. 

The Legal meaning of under the influence is that a driver is “less proficient, less skillful, less coherent, less able,  and less efficient to drive a car.”   Most of us can readily tell when someone is under the influence, then, can’t we?  Most of us don’t need to see if a person can walk a straight line, stand on one leg, or have that person blow into a computer; we can tell and we know.  Next time  someone uses the phrase, “under the influence” ask them exactly what they mean by that term.  If they don’t say something along the lines of “a person is incapable of driving a car safely”, then you know that they don’t really know the meaning of “under the influence”.