The Atlanta DUI News Blog

August 2011 Archives

Will Atlanta Have Labor Day Sobriety and DUI Checkpoints?

The second deadliest day on roadways every year occurs over Labor Day Weekend and this year, the statistic has prompted a drunk driving crackdown, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

In conjunction with the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety's Operation Zero Tolerance/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, more than 600 Georgia police, sheriff's departments and state patrol posts will be putting up high visibility sobriety checkpoints in Georgia, DUI checkpoints, and DUI saturation patrols. Sobriety checkpoints reduce alcohol-related crashes by about 20 percent, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control report combining the results of 23 scientific studies.

What's the Georgia Open Container Law for Drivers and Passengers?

Ever wonered exactly what an open container law is? An open container law basically prohibits keeping alcohol in an open container in certain public places and in vehicles.

Since the Georgia open container law is a state law and not federal, how it is enforced can change from city to city. For example, recently the City Council of Alpharetta changed Alpharetta's open container law to jump-start the downtown business district, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

What Are the Georgia DUI Penalties?

Those readers familiar with this blog will by now be aware that Georgia enforces a "per se" blood alcohol content limit of .08 for adults and a zero tolerance limit of .02 for under-age drivers. Most people are aware of these limits and observe them.

But some people break the law. And for such people the following question arises: under the State of Georgia DUI laws what are the various DUI penalties on the books?

Well, a little look at the laws is in order.

NHTSA Pursues National Drunk Driving Arrests

Drunk driving arrests are likely going to go up even more in the forthcoming weeks, as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is launching a new national campaign to remind people about drunk driving consequences, reports the NHTSA website.

The national crackdown, called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, states that "police in every State and most U.S. towns and cities will be out in full force mid-August through Labor Day looking out for drunk drivers."

Georgians are well aware of drunk driving consequences. Drunk driving in Georgia has led to nearly 1600 deaths per year, reports the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Georgia DUI: Drunk Driver Swerves and Kills Motorcyclist

They say a motorcycle is dangerous. But what's even worse, is a drunk driver.

Recently, a twenty-four-year-old man named Frank J. Cassidy was run over by an apparent drunk driver on Burbank Trail, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As a result of the accident, Frank Cassidy passed away.

The name of the alleged drunk driver was Marvlyn Eugene Martin. He was driving a white Honda Accord in the wrong lane. Martin hit Frank J. Cassidy in Cassidy's subdivision, where he was returning home from work.

Jason Lark and Dustin Willis to Plead Guilty in Douglasville DUI

Two young Douglasville men involved in a DUI crash that killed one person and injured several others have plead guilty, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Jason Lark was the 17-year-old driver of the Chevy Blazer that flipped. Dustin Willis, 21, provided alcohol to Lark. Both face prison. Lark is charged with vehicular homicide, and Willis is charged with vehicular homicide and furnishing alcohol to minors. The dead victim's name was Cheyenne Sauls, 16, and a sophomore at Villa Rica High School.

Lark and Willis are hoping to make a plea-bargain deal with the prosecutor. If they aren't able to make such a deal then they could face as much as 30 years in prison.

Dram Shop Laws in Georgia

As reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgians woke up to hear the surprising news that a bar in Buckhead had caught fire overnight.

Tavern 99, which is located on East Andrews Drive, sustained severe fire damage to the front side of the building, as well as various kinds of smoke damage inside. The firemen that appeared on the scene said that there was no on in the bar when the fire broke out.

Influentials Under Influence: Top 5 Recent Atlanta Sports DUI's

As Atlanta has transformed itself into arguably the most happening city in the South, it has seen an increase in the number of celebrities and famous personalities that call it home. And where such people gather, athletes are prone to show up as well, and parties ensue.

Unfortunately for a few of these athletes, the partying led to getting busted for driving under the influence.

Below are five of the more prominent recent Atlanta sports DUI's:

This Michael Jackson Drives Lawnmowers Drunk

A smooth operator in Georgia, named Michael Jackson Murden, was recently arrested for driving his lawnmower under the influence, reports the Walton Tribune. That's right, a lawnmower DUI.

The thrilling event occurred in the city of Monroe, about an hour east of metro-Atlanta. Not only was Michael Jackson Murden crossing into the oncoming lanes but he also had a small trailer hitched to the back of his lawnmower. He also didn't have a license. The officers that stopped him smelled alcohol on his breath and administered a field sobriety test which Michael Jackson Murden failed.

He remains in Walton County jail because of a probation violation, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Gwinnet Chamber VP and Former Mayor Nick Masino Charged in DUI

Well, at least he wasn’t sexting some woman in Vegas, or showing off his chest to people he has never met.

But, the former mayor of the city of Suwanee and the current Vice President of the Gwinnet Chamber of Commerne, Nick Masino, was recently arrested for driving under the influence, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Masino served as mayor for seven years, before moving into economic development at the Chamber.

Can I Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

People often ask FindLaw Answers, "Can I refuse a field sobriety test?"

In fact, this is a question that many Atlantans are curious about, particularly because when they hear about various celebrity DUI's, like that of Hines Ward, they learn that the celebrity turned down one of the tests. People then wonder what other tests they can turn down.

Before we get to the answers, a little bit of lingo. There are three kinds of tests out there that police officers use during a DUI stop. And they each have different uses within the law. Let's identify them:

Saturday Night DUI? Alcohol a Possible Factor in Fatal Crash

Saturday night is when many people go out, have a few drinks, and unwind after a long week. That can also make Saturday a dangerous night to be out on the roads.

This past Saturday night at around 11:00 .p.m in Barrow County, three people were killed in a two car head on crash, reports WSBTV Atlanta. The accident occurred near Georgia Highway 82, close to Holdenbeck School Road.

The Georgia State Patrol released the names of the people killed in the crash as David Michael Varnum, age 53; John Willis Collins, age 61; and Wanda Jean Collins, age 54. All three of the deceased were from the City of Winder, northeast of Atlanta metropolitan area. Presumably, the Collins were a married couple.