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Young people, alcohol and drinking and driving

Alcohol in its many forms is the most popular adult beverage at parties, bars and other locations. Because we have built our society around cars, and using them to get around town, it's only natural that drunk driving would be one of the most common crimes for anyone to be accused of. Teens and those under the legal drinking age are especially vulnerable to drunk driving charges because drunk driving laws are strict when it comes to young people.

Georgia is a zero tolerance state

Know the difference between breath tests

Let's say you're traveling back home after a social gathering off-campus with some of your college friends. You're the driver and a police officer pulls you over. You tell everyone in your car to remain calm and cooperate when the officer approaches your vehicle. After the basic request to show your driver's license and registration information, you may be caught off-guard if the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle.  

This is often a sign that he or she believes you have committed some sort of crime, perhaps drunk driving. If the officer mentions that your car veered over the yellow line or you seemed to have been driving erratically, you can assume the next set of questions is going to include a request to take a breath test or field sobriety test. This is where it is most critical that you understand your rights

Kindergarten teacher faces marijuana distribution charges

A kindergarten teacher has been arrested and accused of drug distribution charges. The woman was arrested at her home in Locust Grove during a drug bust carried out by the Flint Circuit Drug Task Force at the end of April. Police booked her at the Henry County Sheriff's Jail on charges of intent to distribute drugs and drug possession.

The woman's drug charges relate to marijuana. According to police, they had been investigating the teacher and her husband for approximately a month to gain sufficient evidence to secure an arrest warrant. The woman's husband was also arrested in the drug operation, but he was not home at the time they raided the couple's residence. Both the woman and her husband will face similar drug charges. Police say that they don't have any other pending or outstanding arrest warrants related to this case.

Will a drug conviction disqualify me for student aid?

If you are applying for or receiving federal student aid -- such as work-study, loans and grants -- your eligibility for this aid could be suspended after a drug conviction. However, this suspension will probably not be permanent.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form asks if you have a drug conviction on your record. When you answer yes, you will need to complete a worksheet that determines whether or not you are eligible for student aid.

Job stresses contribute to truck driver fatigue and accidents

A commercial trucker doesn't have a great deal to do, right? Driving a vehicle from A to B seems like it should be an easy and stress-free task to complete, but that's not actually the case. The long hours and the need to deliver on time can put a lot of pressure on a truck driver who is desperate to keep his job and avoid getting a bad review from his boss. There's also the fact that many trucking fleet managers require their operators to work without breaks for long stretches of time.

Driver fatigue and driver illnesses caused by working for too long without breaks and other job stresses is a real problem for truck drivers. In fact, research shows that truck driver fatigue is the primary cause of most accidents that happened between truck drivers and passenger vehicles like pickup trucks, vans, cars and SUVs. In most cases, evidence has shown that truck drivers experienced harsh physical working conditions prior to collisions with these vehicles.

District attorney's office employee arrested and charged with DUI

An employee of the District Attorney's office in Chatham County was arrested and charged with failure to yield and driving under the influence on March 2 at approximately 2:30 a.m. Police stopped the man and performed field sobriety tests on him, coming to the conclusion that he was driving under the influence. Police further claim that the man tried to convince them that he was a district attorney in order to gain leniency, when in fact, he was not a district attorney.

Police say that the man tried to show them his DA's office identification card in an attempt to win their favor. Allegedly, he told police he was "employed as a DA." Later, police say he changed his statement to clarify his role at the DA as a consultant. The man also called his personal attorney several times during the traffic stop and asked officers to speak with him. Police ultimately arrested the man and booked him at the Chatham County jail.

Understanding your rights when it comes to the search of a home

Facing criminal charges of any kind can be a harrowing experience. If a search of your home has left you accused of drug possession, without intricate knowledge or your legal rights, you might have been uncertain how to respond to the situation.

While being questioned by law enforcement agents, you may have felt obligated to comply with their request to perform a search. However, without the presence of a warrant, you may retain the right to refuse this request, and if authorities violated your rights during a search, the charges against you could be reduced or dropped entirely.

University of Georgia employee killed in bike versus car crash

A faculty member from the University of Georgia has been injured and killed in a tragic bicycling accident. The woman was riding her bicycle on a recent Tuesday along Astondale Road in Bishop when the incident occurred.

According to police, the crash happened at approximately 7 p.m. The 45-year-old woman was traveling west, when a 55-year-old man was following her too closely in a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Police allege that the driver didn't give the woman sufficient space to safely operate her bicycle and the truck eventually hit her from behind. The state trooper says that charges are pending against the 55-year-old man who struck the woman.

Teach your kids not to drink and drive this prom season

The Newton County Drug Free Coalition will be passing out educational materials to families concerning the detrimental impact of substance use and abuse on teenagers this spring. According to the coalition, drug and alcohol use among teenagers can result in increased levels of risky behavior, like unprotected sex, drug use, drug overdoses, suicide and violence. There is also the risk of intoxicated teens driving their vehicles unlawfully while inebriated.

Some parents are responding to increased concerns over alcohol and drug abuse this prom season by hosting parties in their homes. Certain parents may also be tempted to allow their teens to consume alcohol at these home-based parties with parental supervision.

Minor in possession offenses: How to defend against them

Whether we like it or not, it's common for children to get their hands on alcoholic beverages and drink them. Whether the child is 10 years old or 17 years old, when a minor is in possession of alcohol, it's a crime -- and state governments like Georgia do everything they can to prevent it from happening.

Most states -- Georgia included -- have minor in possession laws designed to police and prevent the consumption of alcohol by minors. These laws were designed with the following purposes in mind:

  • To teach minors about the dangers of alcohol consumption, particularly the dangers associated with drinking and driving
  • To help minors who have become chemically dependent on alcohol
  • To get minors involved in beneficial community service activities
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