Anne Bishop, P. O. Box 313, Gainesville, GA 30503 (770) 783-5296

A. Bishop Law, LLC

Tips To Avoid A Criminal Charge This New Years Eve

Hall County Georgia Lawyer

It's New Years Eve and time to celebrate! Here are some tips for a safe and happy holiday.

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As a Hall County Lawyers, our firm represents clients who have experienced a DUI arrest or other violations due to New Years Eve celebrations. We understand that it isn’t something someone intentionally sets out to do, the plan is to ring in the New Year with their friends and family, but unfortunately accidents happen due to driving under the influence, disorderly conduct, underage drinking, traffic and speeding violations.

Hall County Georgia Lawyer

‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’:  A National Focus

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration annually announces their ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign for the holiday season.  Their message is to raise awareness and alert all drivers that law enforcement will be stepping up their activities in seeking out drunk driving and removing impaired drivers from the road.  “Safety is our focus year round at DOT.  But this holiday season, we’re stepping up our efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads and reminding Americans ‘drive sober, or get pulled over,’ ” said U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood. “We’re making gains in our fight against drunk driving, but we cannot and will not let up.”

Two to three times more people die in alcohol related crashes during the holidays than any other time of the year according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. In fact, 40% of all traffic fatalities involve a driver who is impaired by alcohol. Pedestrian accidents also increase during the Christmas and New Years holiday. It is best to find a ride home rather than walk or drive home from a party.

Local Enforcement Presence

A lot of people will be at local Hall County establishments or in Atlanta to see the Peach Drop.  Either way, due to the high amount of revelers, police presence and enforcement will be predictably higher than normal.  Law enforcement officers will be looking for people driving under the influence, party goers causing trouble, and under age drinkers.

Under 21 Alcohol Possession

A common misconception for people under the age of 21 who are arrested for alcohol possession is they believe that they could only be arrested if they have a drink in hand.  This simply is not true.  The having of alcohol in your system is generally considered possession, and no drink in hand is required.  Please note that, generally, there are special sentencing rules for first offenders that your attorney can help negotiate for you.

What is Considered a Drink?

Another misconception during New Years is what amount of alcohol constitutes a drink?  Generally, people tend to think that a drink equals a drink.  This may be true for wine and beer, but when it comes to mixed drinks it’s easy to forget that there is often more than one shot of liquor in a mixed drink.  In reality, you could be drinking a Jack and Coke and not realize you’re consuming the equivalent to 2 to 3 drinks.  It is also a good idea to eat a full meal or eat throughout the evening, because without food in your stomach your body will absorb alcohol extremely fast.  Remember that things like body weight, your sex, genetics and family history have a lot to do with how you will react to alcohol.

Here is a quick look at what is considered a drink:

4-5 ounces of wine

10 ounces wine cooler

12 ounces of beer

1-1/4 ounces of distilled liquor (80 proof whiskey, vodka, scotch, or rum)

Roadblocks and Safety Checks

Expect for roadblocks to be set up on New Years Eve to help enforce public safety. Police will be looking for anyone operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and will likely take a zero tolerance approach.  The initial police officers will be looking for blood shot watery eyes, abnormal sounding speech and the smell of alcohol.  If asked to submit to sobriety tests, this is a personal decision and we can not tell you whether you should or should not.  Regardless of whether you submit to testing or not, if a police officer has probable cause you could be arrested for a DUI and need to call us as soon as possible.

Public Indecency

It may sound silly, but Georgia has a ‘catch-all’ public indecency charge that can include the act of public urination.  More often than not, people who gather at public events find that when they have been drinking and need a restroom, they may not always make the best decision as to where to go.  It is extremely important to know that going to the bathroom in public may land you on the sex offenders list.  (No joke!)  People can be charged with public indecency, which is a sexual offense in Georgia with potential imprisonment ranges from 1 to 5 years.

Please have a safe and happy New Year!

At A. Bishop Law, our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney welcomes questions on Criminal Defense laws, Traffic Laws and Georgia DUI laws. Please Call or Email us with any questions.

About the attorney:  Anne Bishop is a Georgia Lawyer with A. Bishop Law in Gainesville, Georgia and handles various DUI / DWIMarijuana Arrests and other Georgia Criminal Defense matters.  The law office of A. Bishop Law can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, OakwoodFlowery Branch), Jackson County  (Jefferson, Braselton) White County (Helen, Cleveland), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), and all of Northeast Georgia.

This article and/or video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.

Anne Bishop
A. Bishop Law, LLC
Attorney at Law
539 Green Street NW
Phone: (770) 783-5296