Athens Georgia Personal Injury And Criminal Law Blog

Vague marijuana laws may increase need for DUI defense

Georgia drivers are likely aware that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can lead to legal trouble. However, the state of Georgia might soon legalize the personal use of marijuana, and marijuana is still considered to be an illegal drug on the federal level. Due to the vague wording of several laws, people who use marijuana may need to present a DUI defense in court. 

Here is where the matter gets a bit tricky. There is no specific limit of marijuana that must be found in a driver's system, usually established with a blood test, to be considered a DUI. Unlike alcohol and some other substances, marijuana can remain in a person's system for months. It is very difficult to prove when the substance was consumed by a driver, because a driver that regularly uses marijuana may have higher levels than an occasional user, regardless of when the marijuana was consumed. 

Investigation into medical malpractice reveals broken system

Georgia residents would probably say that they trust their doctor. While certainly, many medical professionals do everything they can to provide exceptional care to their patients, medical malpractice suits are on the rise. A nationwide investigation into the matter has revealed several problems that put patients at serious risk of becoming a victim. 

One of the obvious dangers is that, shockingly, a doctor guilty of malpractice in one state may be able to resume operations in another state. Though doctors convicted of malpractice are entered into a database, many hospitals and doctor offices do not check to see if a doctor has been negligent in the past. This puts unknowing patients in the hands of a doctor who has been proved careless in the past. 

Police initiative may result in need for DUI defense

Across Georgia, and the nation as a whole, friends and family prepare to gather together and celebrate the holiday season. Many people choose to take a vacation in the winter months, and thousands of college students revel in the opportunity to leave the dorm and return home for a few weeks. Holiday travel combined with throngs of shoppers bargain hunting for last-minute deals leads to increased traffic, and police are warning the public that they are focusing on violations that may lead to accidents, leaving some in a position that may warrant presenting a DUI defense in court. 

Statistically, the number of DUI arrests in Georgia is highest during the last few weeks of the year. This does not necessarily mean more people are guilty of driving over the legal limit, it simply indicates more drivers are accused of DUI. Police have stated that they will pay special attention to factors that could indicate a driver has been drinking, and they will not hesitate to make arrests if they feel a person is driving under the influence. 

Teen drivers and auto accidents: young drivers, adult charges

Teen drivers are statistically at high risk for making mistakes on the road. Many new drivers do not realize the absolute importance of obeying traffic laws and practicing defensive driving. Especially when friends are along for the ride, a young driver might be tempted to show off by speeding, texting or other unsafe practices. Teen drivers in Georgia who are involved in fatal auto accidents can be criminally charged the same as an older driver if they are found to be at fault for the injury or death of another person. 

Recently, a teen driver with a car full of friends failed to maintain control of the vehicle. Though investigators have not released many details as to the exact cause of the crash, they have stated that speed was likely a factor. The front seat passenger was killed in the crash. 

Criminal defense for college students may help spring breakers

Though it's late autumn in Georgia, some college students may already be planning spring break. One of the highlights of a student's year, college kids often look forward to a few fun days on a warm beach after months of studying and hard work. Unfortunately, students aren't the only ones planning for spring break, and some police departments have already suggested that students who travel to their local beaches may leave with more than a sunburn. They warn that even minor crimes and offenses will be prosecuted, creating a need for attorneys to provide criminal defense for college students. 

Some municipalities have gone so far as to suggest would-be spring breakers not come to their local beaches. They state in a curmudgeonly way that many residents and older visitors are annoyed by the students, and so they will be making arrests and issuing fines for anything they can in an attempt to discourage the students from returning in the future. They say that loud music, small amounts of marijuana and disorderly conduct will be enough to land a student in trouble with the law. 

5 Apps to use when you might be too drunk to drive

Consuming alcohol reduces our deductive reasoning skills. Studies have shown that this can contribute to a lapse in judgment when we're trying to determine whether or not to get on the road.

If you aren't sure if you're too drunk to drive, here are five smartphone applications that may help.

Man refuses breath test, must present DUI defense

A young Georgia driver's call for help resulted in his arrest. The 19-year-old man was involved in a minor accident, and when he did the right thing to call and report it from the scene, he was arrested for DUI. He now finds himself facing serious legal trouble, needing to present a DUI defense. 

The man's ordeal began when he called 911 services from the side of the road to report that he had struck an unknown object, which caused a flat tire, rendering his vehicle disabled. Police responded after the driver gave an accurate location of the vehicle. When police arrived, they noted that all four tires were flat and the oil pan seemed damaged. 

Reality star charged with drug crimes after a call for help

Georgia residents may be familiar with the popular reality series "Love and Hip Hop." A spin-off of the show takes place in Atlanta, and is extraordinarily popular among viewers. Fans tune in each week to see their favorite characters navigate real life events, but recently an off-camera incident resulted in charges related to drug crimes for one of the show's stars. 

The woman, named Erica Mena, maintains a residence in Georgia. Concerned neighbors called police after they say they heard a terrible argument unfolding between the woman and her boyfriend. According to reports, she had locked herself in a room to hide from the man, who was shouting and behaving aggressively. He is accused of breaking the door down to get to her. 

Auto accidents claim innocent young lives

Georgia parents would likely admit that being involved in a crash that injures or kills their child is one of their greatest fears. Most parents go to great lengths to keep their children safe while travelling. While proper child safety seats and conscientious driving can go a long way to keeping young passengers safe, there is no guarantee of survival in a crash. When auto accidents are the result of another driver's criminal behavior, innocent children can suffer severe injury or death. 

Recently, a Georgia woman was driving under the influence of alcohol. Police state that the woman has a career as a psychologist that assists people dealing with addiction. Due to her profession, she likely had a good understanding of how dangerous drinking and driving can be; however, she chose to get behind the wheel anyway. 

Pedestrian deaths up almost 50 percent since 2009

Technological advances have increased the safety of vehicles. Cars can now sense when there is a sudden need to stop on the highway and adapt cruise control speeds to help keep the flow of traffic moving smoothly. With these and other advances we expect the number of deaths related to car accidents to decrease.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Fatalities resulting from auto wrecks are on the rise. Pedestrian deaths are an example. The National Transportation Safety Board reports the most recent available data shows pedestrian fatalities are up 46 percent from 2009 to 2016.

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