Athens Man Pulled Over for Failing to Maintain His Lane Leads to Kidnapping and Possession Charges

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 07, 2019 | 0 Comments

Justin Robinson was arrested on charges of kidnapping, motor vehicle theft, failure to maintain lane, giving a false name to a law enforcement officer, driving without a valid license, methamphetamine possession and open container.

This slew of charges occurred after he was accused of stealing a woman's car last month while her baby was strapped into the back seat. According to police in Clarke County, officers saw him driving erratically. That's when they pulled him over and discovered that he was driving without a valid driver's license and lied to an officer about his identity. A search of the car led to the discovery of the infant, methamphetamine, and an open container.

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will focus today's post on the two traffic violations that Robinson has been accused of committing which led to his arrest for both the automobile theft and the kidnapping.

Failure to Maintain Lane in Georgia

Failure to Maintain Lane in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as:

When a road has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

To put it simply - the law here is unclear as the statute seems to suggest that so long as it is done safely, it is lawful to fail to maintain one's lane.

Nonetheless, failure to maintain lane is one of the most common reasons DUI officers site as a basis for a traffic stop that begins a DUI investigation. Officers will pull someone over for having seen a vehicle touch the fog line, even just one time. 

Failure to maintain lane was the basis for Robinson's stop in the case I've covered above. After he was detained, officers searched the vehicle, which led to this next charge amongst others.

Open Container in Georgia

Open Container in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code as:

The consumption or possession of open alcoholic beverages in the passenger area of any vehicle while on a public highway or shoulder of a public highway is prohibited.

If you are convicted of possessing an open container, two points will be added to your Georgia driver's license.

Moreover, if you have been charged with DUI, an open container violation may bring enhanced charges and harsher penalties. If you are stopped for a traffic violation and the police officer notices an open container in the vehicle, he will be on heightened alert for any other clues that you might be an impaired driver. 

An open container charge actually strengthens the case against you because an open container is further evidence that you had, in fact, been drinking as well as shows a disregard for the law and irresponsible behavior.

Practice Note

Both of these offenses are typically charged alongside DUI in Georgia. As a law firm, we are focused solely on DUI Defense in Georgia. This means that specialize in defending cases involving DUI as well as all other DUI related offenses.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today. A Georgia DUI Attorney can walk you through step by step and give the best options available for your case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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