Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that the DUI limit should be reduced from 0.08% to 0.05% nationwide. They claim that this will make our roads safer. This claim, however, is highly questionable.
One of the main problems with lowering the legal limit is testing. There are already enough problems and false convictions being made on the current levels. Lowering the bar will result in more innocent people getting convicted.
There are major problems with the breath testing machines which are used all over Georgia. One of the fundamental problems is that these machines are not specific to ethanol and will flag other similar substances and count them towards your BAC. So for example, if you were painting and used paint thinner recently, the chemicals absorbed through your hands will show up in your blood and will be counted towards your breath test reading. Other substances that can cause false readings are mouthwash, nail polish remover, hand sanitizing liquid, cough medications and even inhalers used by people with asthma.
The penalties for a DUI in Georgia are very severe and include jail time, expensive fines and a lengthy license suspension. These penalties are really cripple a person. That is why we need to make sure that these penalties are dished out to those truly guilty of the crime and that innocent people are protected. Lowering the limit will inevitably cause more harm by landing innocent people in jail.
It’s getting warmer which mean more people will flock to the Georgia’s coastline to enjoy boating. If you plan to get on a boat on Georgia’s waterways, you should be aware of the new boating under the influence (BUI) laws that have gone into effect.
First, there has been a drop in the legal BAC limit for BUI from 0.10% to 0.08%. This is the same level that is in place for driving a car.
Secondly, the penalties for BUI have increased and now a first time offense could cost you $300 in fines along with jail time and a suspension of not only your boating license, but also your driving license.
For more information on boating under the influence penalties, please call 1-855-9-ATL-DUI.
New DUI laws that went into effect on January 1, 2013 bring important changes to DUI work permits. Here is a summary of the changes:
For First Time Offenders
Drivers who have been convicted on a “First-in-Five” DUI charge will now be allowed additional relaxations in their hardship permits. Previously, drivers on hardship permits were only allowed to drive to work, school, the doctor, support group meetings and DUI school. Now they will be also allowed to drive to court, report to their probation officer, and perform community service. They will also be able to drive an immediate family member who doesn’t have a car to work, school or to receive medical services.
For Second Time Offenders
Drivers who have been convicted on a second offense in five years will now be allowed a hardship permit as well. After 120 days, they may apply for a hardship permit that will allow them to work, school, receive medical treatment, support group meetings and DUI school as well as to court, to report to their probation officer, and to perform community service. They will also be able to drive family members to such places.
To qualify for a hardship permit, drivers must have completed an alcohol/drug risk reduction program, have completed a clinical evaluation and have enrolled in an approved substance-abuse treatment program. Additionally, they must have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Atlanta and have questions, please call Attorney Doug Chanco at 1-855-9-ATL-DUI.
As July is upon us, it is time to review the new changes in the law that are going into effect here in Georgia. This session, the legislature added a new surcharge to all Georgia DUI convictions. This surcharge will increase the out of pocket costs associated with any fine amount by an additional 50 percent starting July 1st,2012.
Now a $800 fine will actually cost you $1,200 with the add-ons and surcharges. That amount does not include the probation charges, interlock expenses and other statutory charges. Then of course there are increased insurance costs and increases transportation costs while your license is suspended.
The revenue gathered from this new surcharges is not designated to be used to fund any any particular program, but simply is an opportunity to increase costs upon those convicted of a DUI and increase revenue for towns and police departments. Law enforcement is increasingly become a for-profit endeavor.
With these ever increasing costs, mandatory jail time and lengthy license suspensions, you need a lawyer on your side who will fight to protect your DUI rights and your hard earned money. Contact Atlanta DUI Attorney Douglas B. Chanco for a free consultation at 1-855-9-ATL-DUI.
The summer is officially underway and there is a lot to enjoy in Georgia, especially the water!
A Georgia BUI is a serious criminal charge with carries very harsh penalties.
However, just like on the roads, police monitor the waterways for intoxicated drivers. In Georgia, hundreds of people are arrested each year for boating under the influence (BUI).
If you are found to be operating a vehicle in a condition that is “less safe” due to the use of alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs or any combination of the three OR if you have a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher OR if a chemical test shows a controlled substance in your system, you may be charged with BUI. Under Georgia BUI laws, you may be subject to the following penalties:
Jail time and Probation: Up to 1 year to serve
Fines: Up to $1,000
Boating license suspension: 1 year
DUI risk reduction programs and school
In addition to these legal penalties, a BUI is a criminal misdemeanor and will show up and background checks for the rest of your life. There is no chance for expungement.
If you have questions about a BUI case, please call 1-855-9-ATL-DUI.
Sometimes laws don’t make any sense. For example in Georgia, if you are charged for a DUI and you take the matter to trial and are found “not guilty”, the DUI arrest and the outcome of the charge remains on your criminal record- it does not get wiped away. How can this happen you ask?
Under the expungement laws for DUI, the following categories are eligible:
Nolle prossed/Prosequi (declaration that the prosecutor plans to drop part or all of a criminal case)
Case not presented to the Grand Jury
No further action anticipated
No record on file
Dead docket (case has been on the docket too long and must be either refiled or dismissed entirely)
Therefore, the following dispositions are not eligible for expungement:
nolo contendre (no contest)
First Offender Act.
What that means is if you took your DUI case to trial and won, it will still show up on a criminal background check. This can cause needlessly hardship and humiliation because of the political and social stigmas attached to DUI.
If you have a past DUI case you wish to discuss, please call 1-855-9-ATL-DUI.
A DUI conviction will remain on your criminal record forever in Georgia.
Many people who are facing or have been convicted of DUI charges worry about one thing, “When will this come off my record?”
Having a DUI on your record can be devastating. For example, a DUI can automatically disqualify you from some job opportunities and will cast a cloud of uncertainty over you leading to you losing many others. In a tough and competitive job market, this can truly change your life.
Many states have provisions that under certain stipulations, allow your DUI conviction to be wiped off your record or expunged? Georgia does not allow this. This means that a Georgia DUI conviction will stay on your permanent criminal record and be a source of humiliation and frustration 5, 1o even 20 years down the line.
This is why I strongly recommend anyone facing DUI charges to consult with an experienced DUI attorney immediately after their arrest. The stakes are very high and not everyone realizes the extent of the penalties for these charges. As a former Fulton County DUI prosecutor, I have experience on both sides of the law and bring that experience to help fight for you.
Please call 1-855-9-ATL-DUI for a free case consultation.
The summary of this series is that DUI charges are not a minor setback but in fact a major criminal charge that can easily cost you over tens of thousands of dollars and alter the future for you or your child. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is just a case of simple “youthful indiscretion” because the courts most certainly do not see it that way. A conviction will lead to very heavy penalties and humiliation for the rest of your life. It creates a criminal record that is never going to go away, age off, or be expunged. That is far too heavy a burden for a young adult to bear.
But there is hope. By hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney who is willing to fight your case, you may be able to turn the tides. Attorney Doug Chanco is a former DUI prosecutor and knows both sides of the law. He regularly attends intensive DUI training seminars and has the knowledge to attack the evidence against you. He is willing to take the matter to trial and fight for your rights.
If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge please call 1-855-9-ATL-DUI for a free case consultation.
DUI cases for driver under 21 are very unique and there are many fine details in the law that require extra attention. While some options may be viable for those over 21, the way the laws are structured in Georgia, some options may still lead to a license suspension.
Nolo Contendere (no contest)
A nolo contendere plea is counted as a guilty plea in Georgia. This will not help in saving your license or protecting yourself from other penalties. By pleading nolo contendere, you are basically pleading guilty. Most importantly, Georgia does not allow anyone under age 21 to enter a nolo contendere plea to DUI or marijuana and other drug charges. Some judges may take an exception to this, but the Georgia DDS will not and the under 21 driver will still lose their license.
Georgia First Offender Act
The “Georgia First Offender Act” allows the court to withhold adjudication in many cases. This DOES NOT apply to DUI.
This is why you need to consult with an experienced attorney who know the law and can give you the right guidance. As a former DUI prosecutor, Attorney Chanco knows both sides of the law and this knowledge can be the difference in your case.
The way the Georgia DUI laws have be structured for drivers under 21, leads to many problems. These problems, in turn, can lead to false convictions.
The main issue with these DUI laws is that they mandate a DUI conviction for a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than .02 as opposed to .08 in the case of those over 21. Yet it is difficult for officers to rely on anything besides a breath test to determine this low level of alcohol impairment, as the results of standardized field sobriety tests often show few or no clues at a .02 BAC. This requires the officers to resort to only using the breath test results to make the arrest decision. This is problematic because the breath testing machines used here in Georgia are woefully inaccurate. For example, there have been many cases where police officers have improperly calibrated breath test machines to produce higher readings. Also there is the issue of the breath tests not being specific to alcohol. In fact, simple exposure to many common household products like hand sanitizers, paint thinner and nail polish remover can cause erroneous breath test readings. Even eating simple white bread can lead to an arrest:
When you measure the heavy penalties attached to a DUI for those under 21, you can see how big a problem a small inaccuracy can be.
If you believe you are a victim of an inaccurate breath test, please call 1-855-9-ATL-DUI for a free consultation.