The Memorial Day Holiday is upon us, and with it comes the beginning of summer. Georgia’s residents and visitors look forward to long, hot days and warm nights. Parties, weddings, lake days, and beach trips start showing up on our schedules. These events frequently include alcohol and even drug use. The SHElaw firm® DUI Defense Attorneys in Decatur want to give you information to help you stay safe and out of trouble with the Decatur police.
Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
The Georgia Boat Safety Act prohibits anyone from operating any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, sailboard or similar device while under the influence. The Department of Natural Resources has Game Wardens that patrol our beautiful lakes and waterways to keep them safe. A Game Warden can stop a boat if they feel the driver is operating the vehicle unsafely or simply for a safety check. There is no probable cause requirement on the water. They have the full authority to stop and arrest any driver that may break the Boat Safety Act. You can have open containers of alcohol on the boat. The operator can even have a drink, but his BAC must be less than. 08. The fine could be $300- $1000 if arrested and found guilty of the first offense. The total expense for this violation will also include court costs and other add-ons. There is a 24-hour mandatory jail time with the possibility of one-year imprisonment. If you refuse to be tested by a breathalyzer or blood test, you will lose your boating license for one year. If you have a child under age 12 on board, you are at risk of child endangerment charges. With subsequent arrests, the monetary penalties increase, but the violation never reaches a felony charge unless someone is injured or dies.
Swimming Under the Influence
We hear a stern warning from lifeguards and other water professionals, Don’t Drink and Dive. Alcohol is known to increase the risk of drowning in several ways:
It impairs your judgment and increases risk-taking behavior.
Alcohol affects the perception of risk.
The water seems deep enough to dive into, shallow enough to stand in, the current is not too strong, or you can save another person in trouble. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and encourages The Superman Complex.
It affects coordination and balance.
Alcohol dulls your senses. The signals to your brain from sight, sound, and touch become unreliable, making walking and swimming off balance. It becomes hard to find the surface when deep underwater.
It impairs reaction time.
Alcohol is a depressant, not a stimulant as many people believe. It reduces the time the brain takes to process information. In water emergencies, delay can be dead.
Do not Accidentally get Arrested for a DUI in Decatur.
You are at the local bar watching the Braves sweep the New York Yankees and have a few or more beers celebrating the hits, strikeouts, and homers. You drove over, knowing you would only have two beers and be safe to get home. You had more than two, maybe three or four, but you feel fine to drive. You are driving carefully, observing the speed limits, staying in your lane, and always using your blinkers properly. You round the last curve before your house. Suddenly, the area is flooded with flashing blue lights, and cops are in the middle of the road.
It is a Safety Checkpoint, as the authorities like to call it. The cop smells alcohol on your breath when he checks your license and has you pull over to the side. You fail the field sobriety test and then blow .082 on the breathalyzer. They put you in cuffs and haul you off to the detention facility. There you will be booked, fingerprinted, and have a mugshot taken. Jail time for a DUI arrest in Georgia is 24 hours minimum. You will stay incarcerated until your court time. Then the bail and other requirements will be set. See this SHElaw firm® Blog Penalties for a DUI for more details about what happens after an arrest.
Do Not Be A Part of the Increase in Summer Criminal Activity..
Countless studies show an uptick in violent, aggressive, illegal activities as the temperature rises. The hotter the weather, the more dangerous some people become. There are records indicating an increase in excessively raucous parties taking place. These events tend to result in scuffles, fights, and even police intervention. More muggings, thefts, home break-ins, and property destruction occur in summer. Pay attention to what is happening around you. Gangs of people destroy property and beat innocent people, at times to death. It is easy to become a follower of a strong group because it makes you feel powerful too. Do not get swept up in that dangerous activity with the wrong people.
Avoid Accidents on Your Premises.
If you have parties at your house, around your pool, or lakefront, don’t consume much alcohol yourself. Watch over your guests to protect yourself. You don’t have to be the party police, but you do not want someone getting hurt or almost drowning on your premises. The laws may be difficult to interpret for specific situations and the owner’s expectations. SHElaw firm® Premises Liability Attorneys can help you understand the ins and outs and determine if the defendant has a case. The four criteria to bring a Premises liability case against you are:
Duty of Care
It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep the premises safe. Your property insurance policy should give you the specifics of any major potential danger areas you have. EG pool, lake access, river. You need to be aware of an uneven walkway, any area under construction, etc.
Breach of Duty of Care
This criterion means that you were aware of the unsafe conditions and failed to take corrective actions or warn guests of the dangers. The main issue is that you knew about the hazard and should have made corrections, had warnings posted, or obstacles to block access to it.
They must prove that your breach of duty was the cause of the injuries or death that occurred. The victim has to show that they exercised reasonable care to avoid the hazard and prevent injuries. If they cannot show their efforts, they may be found partially responsible and compensated less or none.
The defendant must present actual bills for any medical expenses related to the incident, lost wages, and psychiatric expenses for mental anguish. They may also show lost potential earnings and any other benefits the injured/deceased may have earned if able to perform his duties. They can also estimate an amount they feel represents their pain and suffering. The court will decide what level of fault is determined.
Georgia recognizes the modified comparative negligence rule in property liability claims, just as in other liability cases. The court will determine the percentage of fault for each side. There will be no financial award if the judge rules the defendant was over 49% at fault. Our attorneys will help protect you and your interests.
Contact SHElaw firm® Today if Your Memorial Day Has Become Forgettable Due to a DUI!
It’s summer, have fun! But do not drink alcohol excessively and dive, boat, or drive. Have friends over to your house; just be sure you have warned and protected them from any dangers. If your fun includes children, be especially diligent on a boat or around a pool. If you need help with any of these problems, contact The SHElaw firm® online or at 470-378-1162 for a free consultation.