Friday, December 26, 2014

Contact a paulding county criminal defense lawyer and get the best representation you can find | Paulding county criminal defense lawyer

Under O.C.G.A. § 40-1-1(33), any wheeled vehicle propelled by gas, steam or electricity that can be operated through its own power will likely fit the definition of a motor vehicle under Georgia's DUI law. To this end, a tractor has been held to be covered [Browning v. State, 207 Ga. App. 547, 428 S.E.2d 441 (1993)]; a go-cart will likely qualify [1969 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 69-194]; golf carts driven on a municipal trail system are within the purview of statute governing driving under the influence [Simmons v. State, 281 Ga. App. 252, 635 S.E.2d 849 (2006)]; and a motor scooter [1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 471]. Implicitly, this does not refer to a self-propelled vehicle. In 2003, Georgia passed some new DUI statutes applicable to electric “people movers” such as the Segway™.  infra, for information on operating these devices while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The 2003 Legislature enacted new laws regarding impaired operation of e.p.a. (electronic personal assistive) devices. This would include novel people transport devices such as the Segway™, which can be used to transport a person along a sidewalk or street. These laws provide for misdemeanor punishment by fine only and not to exceed $500.00.

Ironically, it appears that Georgia law will allow a person who is 16 years old or more, with or without a driver's license, to operate a properly-equipped e.p.a. Even more bizarre, the unlicensed "operator" can be both suspended for a current DUI offense AND can be currently impaired by a drug or by alcohol, yet not face a DUI charge.

Any person who is under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or any drug to a degree which renders him or her a hazard shall not operate any electric personal assistive mobility device on any highway or sidewalk. Violation of this Code section shall be a misdemeanor, punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed $500.00. (Emphasis added.)

If a person operates one of these devices at any location other than a street or sidewalk, punishment calls for a civil penalty of up to $500. See O.C.G.A. § 40-6-327.

Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-327, any violation of "offenses" other than operating an "e.p.a." while intoxicated as proscribed by § 40-6-326 will NOT result in a criminal conviction nor any driver's license suspension or points. The maximum "civil" penalty is a $500 maximum assessment.


Contact a Paulding County Criminal defense lawyer today if charged with a DUI.

No comments:

Post a Comment