The Atlanta DUI News Blog

April 2011 Archives

Another Study Reports on Dangers of Alcoholic Energy Drinks

Be careful when ordering that Jagerbomb at the bar. The mix of alcohol and energy drinks like Red Bull can trigger impulsive and often more risky behavior than a traditional cocktail.

ABC News reports that a study was released earlier this month in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, showing that caffeine changes alcohol's effects on the body and that there are some significant safety concerns associated with the consumption of alcoholic energy drinks.

DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving For Conyers Cop

An officer with the Conyers Police Department was arrested in January on suspicion of DUI, where chemical tests showed that Officer Justin Shane Lykins had a blood alcohol content of .105 percent at the time of the arrest. Yet it looks like the cop won't have to face DUI charges in court, thanks to a plea deal.

The Rockdale Citizen reports that Lykins pleaded guilty to a window tint violation and one count of reckless driving on Monday. This reportedly came after a negotiated plea, where authorities agreed to reduce the DUI charge to the less severe charge of reckless driving.

Paul Burgess crashed his vehicle on I-85 last week in Coweta County and as a result he could be facing several criminal charges. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that so far, Burgess already has been charged with driving under the influence of prescription drugs, serious injury by vehicle and following too closely. Because a person died as a result of the vehicle crash, it's possible that Burgess can also be facing homicide charges.

Burgess was held in jail without bond for two days after the fatal crash that killed 51-year-old Donald Clyatt Moore. Yet the lawyer representing Burgess says that his client was not under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the fatal crash. Attorney D. Scott Cummins says that Burgess takes Adderall as a treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but that Burgess was not impaired while he was driving.

Too Many DUI Crimes During Prom Season

Did you know that one third of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities involving teens occur during graduation and prom season? In high school, the prom season (April to June) could be a good time for many teenagers to celebrate life-changing moments, but remember that festivities can easily occur without endangering other people.

Hence, many high schools in the Atlanta metro area are taking on initiatives to encourage teenagers not to drive under the influence of alcohol and other drugs. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that several schools in the area are promoting National Youth Traffic Safety Month, which is recognized each year in the month of May.

Georgia Voters to Decide on Sunday Alcohol Sales

Thanks to the passage of SB 10, voters in some Georgia regions will be allowed to decide if they would like to allow for the sale of alcohol on Sundays in their home city. The decision to allow for a ballot measure is being left up to local city governments. Some municipalities in the Atlanta metro area have already decided to put the issue on November’s ballot.

WSB Atlanta reported that the Loganville City Council, for example, approved to have a ballot measure that would let voters decide on the legalization of Sunday alcohol sales after a 5-1 vote. This makes Loganville one of the first cities in Georgia to take a stance on the issue.

Avoid a DUI With "Low Risk" Drinking

Incidents of drunk driving often involve a much broader problem of heavy drinking or alcohol abuse. Hence, one way that impaired driving fatalities and DUI arrests can be avoided is by staying away from heavy drinking and easing into a pattern of low risk drinking instead. Without the binge drinking habits, it might be easier to keep from getting behind the wheel while impaired.

What exactly is “low risk” drinking? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that men should have no more than four drinks in a single day and that women should have no more than three drinks in a single day.

When DUI Checkpoints Are Most Effective

There are some DUI checkpoints in the state of Georgia that yield a large number of drunk driving arrests while other checkpoints yield very few arrests. Georgia State Patrol Cpl. M. L. Stewart said through Times-Georgian.com that in his experience, the checkpoints that do not yield many arrests are usually heavily publicized.

This logic certainly makes sense and is just one reason why some U.S. senators are asking smartphone makers Apple, Google and Research in Motion to stop selling apps that allow drivers to locate DUI checkpoints. Yet perhaps these lawmakers are forgetting the true purpose behind a DUI checkpoint.

CDC: April is Alcohol Awareness Month

At the start of the prom and graduation season at Atlanta high schools, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reminding community members that April is Alcohol Awareness Month. This nationwide campaign has the intent to raise awareness of the health and social problems of excessive alcohol consumption. CDC is also encouraging individuals to make healthy and safe choices through the campaign.

Binge drinking over long periods of time can lead to an increased risk of chronic diseases. Such diseases include cancer, liver disease, and heart problems. These are just some of the health risks to consider when drinking excessively. The month of April can be a good time for Atlanta community members to educate themselves and teach teenagers around them about the dangers of alcohol abuse.

Elijah Lewis of Pembroke City Council Arrested For DUI

Elijah Lewis Jr., a former member of Pembroke City Council, is now in trouble with the law for allegedly driving under the influence last month in Pembroke. However, it's certainly not the first time that the ex-city official has had to deal with DUI allegations and other misdemeanor crimes in the Peach State.

According to Bryan County News, Lewis is now facing DUI charges after at least one breath test revealed that he had a blood-alcohol level of .169 percent on March 26, the day of his arrest. This marked the fifth time that Lewis was arrested for DUI.

Study Finds Underage Drinking to Be Common Among Teens

Underage drinking is now on the rise, which could mean that there's a greater risk of being involved in an alcohol-related crash. According to Fox News, a national survey by the Partnership at Drugfree.org found that more than 60 percent of teens who have consumed alcohol had their first drink by the age of 15.

It seems that teens and young adults are now sipping booze at a younger and younger age over time. Perhaps the most surprising part of the study was that nearly half of the teens surveyed said that they don't feel like heavy drinking on a daily basis is such a big deal.

MADD Recognizes DUI Enforcement Efforts With DUI Hero Award

Look out for Sgt. Shawn Myers with the Garden City Police Department. According to the Savannah Morning News, this traffic officer made 240 out of the department’s 462 DUI arrests last year. The non-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) honored Myers last week with Georgia’s DUI Hero Award, an honor that is given to officers who have done a great amount of work to put drunk drivers behind bars.

MADD also gave Officer James Hollingsworth of Port Wentworth a Hero Award for making 111 arrests last year.

So Far, No Driver's License Suspension for Commissioner Wole Ralph

Authorities arrested Clayton County commissioner Wole Ralph on suspision of DUI in February, but reports say that police officers failed to file proper paper work so that Ralph's license would be suspended. According to WSBTV, the Atlanta Police Department is now investigating the arresting officer in this case to get answers on why the proper paperwork was not filed with the Department of Driver Services (DDS) within 30 days.

Ralph reporteldy refused all related DUI testing, including field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer test, on the night of his arrest. When a DUI suspect refuses sobriety testing in the state of Georgia, the state is supposed to suspend the suspect's driver's license and the driver is usually subjected to penalties that are similar to that of a DUI.

Drunk Driver Hits Jaywalker, Both Facing Charges

A woman, who was hit by a pickup truck earlier this month while crossing the street in front of The Ivy restaurant on Roswell Road, had to be transported to Grady Memorial Hospital for further treatment after the collision. But who exactly was at fault for this accident?

WSB Atlanta reports that an off-duty police officer saw the accident and found that the pedestrian was lying in the middle of the road, unconscious, after the crash. But because the pedestrian was not using a crosswalk when crossing the street, police said that the woman would be charged.