The Atlanta DUI News Blog

March 2011 Archives

Jim Leyritz Gets New Coaching Job, Talks About DUI

Jim Leyritz may have once been a hero for the New York Yankees during the 1996 World Series, but the former athlete also has a dark past and was even accused of killing somebody behind the wheel a few years ago. Fox News reported that the former athlete recently spoke about his trial and says that he wants to start over fresh with the new job that he has with the Newark Bears.

Starting over is always something that is easier said than done for many DUI offenders. Leyritz was reportedly involved in a Florida car crash in 2007 that killed a woman in the other car after a night of celebrating on his birthday. Police officers said after the accident that Leyritz was driving drunk during the time of the fatal crash.

USA Not Ranked Among 25 Drunkest Countries

Despite the large number of DUI accidents that occur each year in the Atlanta metro area and around the country, the United States is not home to the world's most heavy drinkers. According to the Chicago Tribune, a report by the World Health Organization does not even list the United States among the world's drunkest countries.

The country of Moldova apparently takes the prize for the world's drunkest country, with a survey indicating that the average citizen over the age of 15 drinks an average of 4.81 gallons of beer, wine and spirits in a single year. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and Ukraine were the next four nations on the list of drunkest countries.

Police Enforced the DUI Laws on St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day might be a fun holiday in Atlanta for drinking and wearing the color green, but it’s also a day of the year where law enforcers across the state of Georgia typically crack down on motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Now that the holiday is over with, some people could be facing tough DUI penalties for breaking the law.

Online Athens reported that Athens-Clarke police officers busted dozens of people on March 17 for DUI and other charges such as driving on suspended licenses. Five people in Athens were reportedly arrested on suspicion of DUI and almost 100 more drivers in the area were cited for traffic violations during St. Patrick’s Day road checks.

Help for Georgia Teens to Avoid a DUI During Prom Season

It’s almost time for proms and graduations at Georgia high schools. But before these festivities begin, it’s important for teenagers to learn about the dangers associated with drunk driving. Now is a great time for parents to teach their high school age kids about underage drinking and DUI penalties.

The Augusta Chronicle reports that Harlem High School in Harlem, GA took action to prevent drunk driving among teenagers by holding the Operation Drive Smart Expo earlier this month. The expo, which was put on by the Duluth Police Department, featured hands-on devices that allowed participants to learn more about impaired driving and traffic safety.

Teacher at Bagley Middle School Arrested For DUI

A police report states Jennifer Lynne Zeigler was driving 28 miles over the speed limit in Eton last week before hitting another vehicle. The Times Free Press reported that police also stated the driver was unsteady on her feet and stumbled while walking, but Zeigler apparently insisted that she was in a rush to get to Bagley Middle School in Murray County, where she works as a teacher.

If Zeigler was impaired, then perhaps she shouldn’t be in such a rush to get to the school. The teacher was charged with driving under the influence following the incident. She also reportedly faces charges of speeding and following too closely.

SB 10 Passes in Senate, Sunday Alcohol Sales Could Come Soon

Georgia is currently just one of three U.S. states that still has blue laws, laws that ban the sale of alcohol on Sundays, still on the books. However, these laws may soon change.

According to The Augusta Chronicle, the Georgia Senate voted in favor of Senate Bill 10, which would allow state voters to decide if they want to permit the sale of bottled beer, wine and distilled beverages on every day of the week, including Sundays. Governer Nathan Deal already said earlier this year that he would sign SB 10, because it gives local voters a chance to have a say in the matter.

Ignition Interlocks Could Be Required For All Georgia DUI Offenders

Georgia lawmakers are looking to pass a bill that would require all people convicted of driving under the influence to get an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. FOX News reports that this law would apply to even first-time DUI offenders in the state.

What exactly is an ignition interlock device and how does it work? The device is supposed to measure a driver's blood alcohol content before he or she starts a vehicle's ignition. If the instrument detects more than a low threshold level of blood alcohol content, then the vehicle will not be able to start with the device in place. The device is designed to prevent DUI offenders from driving under the influence again, but only a few U.S. states require first-time DUI offenders to install the ignition interlock device in their vehicles.

Study: Heavy Alcohol Consumption Leads to Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

A new study shows that men should limit their alcohol intake to just two drinks per day and that women should have no more than one drink per day. Why? It's not necessarily to keep Georgia roads safer, but there's actually now evidence that heavy drinking is an independent risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

Fox News reports that the study, which appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that people who consume three or more drinks of hard liquor a day have 36 percent higher risk of dying from pancreatic cancer than nondrinkers. This type of cancer is reportedly the most resistant to chemotherapy and has symptoms that often do not appear until the cancer is in an advanced stage.

The Republic reports that driving under the influence in the state of Georgia is typically treated as a misdemeanor for the first two convictions, a high and aggravated misdemeanor on the third DUI conviction and only a felony on the fourth and subsequent DUI convictions. Yet a state bill is looking to change this policy for illegal immigrants so that they're charged with a felony after just a first-time DUI offense.

Senate Bill 162, which passed in the Georgia state Senate this week with a 35-18 vote, targets only illegal immigrants who drive under the influence. If passed into a law, illegal immigrants convicted of driving under the influence will face between one and five years of imprisonment for a first-time DUI offense, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

SAMHSA Warns People Against Underage Drinking

No parent wants to see his or her child get busted for DUI. Not only are there severe legal consequences for a DUI conviction in Georgia, but impaired driving is also dangerous and can cause a fatal accident. Hence, some parents may feel that it's best to give their teenage children alcohol so that the kids don't go elsewhere to drink and then feel the need to get behind the wheel.

However, parents may want to pay close attention to a recent study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) before allowing underage drinking in their home. reports that the study found that people who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely than those who start drinking at age 21 and older to develop alcohol problems. Perhaps even those who starting drinking responsibly at an early age will end up in a DUI accident later in life due to their increased potential for alcohol addiction.

Former MADD President Debra Oberlin Arrested For DUI

The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization is known for their anti-drunk driving campaigns and vocal opposition against driving while impaired. So one would probably expect the president of a MADD chapter to follow the organization's main message and not operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Think again, because that is not the case of at least one MADD president.

CBS News reports that Debra Oberlin, a former president of a defunct chapter of MADD in Gainesville, Florida, was arrested last month on suspicion of DUI. Police officers in Gainesville say that they spotted Oberlin driving erratically and swerving across lanes before she was pulled over. A police report said that Oberlin claimed to have had four beers before getting behind the wheel.

Georgia Lawmakers Look to Strengthen State's BUI Law

It's illegal in the state of Georgia to operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, including a boat. Boating under the influence, also known as BUI, is often enforced on Georgia's Lake Lanier, especially on holidays like Labor Day and the 4th of July.

Enforcing BUI crimes may even get easier if lawmakers decided to lower the legal blood-alcohol level for boating under the influence. Access North Georgia reports that the current BAC limit for piloting a boat in Georgia is .10 percent, but that House Bill 315 could soon lower the legal limit to .08 percent so that the BUI level would be the same as the state's DUI level.

Baseball Star Matt Skole Charged With DUI

A baseball player at the Georgia Institute of Technology is going through some legal trouble off of the field, as he was arrested last month in Atlanta on suspicion of DUI. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the athlete Matt Skole was pulled over by a Georgia State Patrolman on February 3 after he crossed out of his lane several times.

At the time, 21-year-old Skole reportedly admitted to drinking a Bourbon and Coke, but refused to take a breath test. Authorities also said that Skole had bloodshot eyes and that he failed field sobriety tests.