The week of the Masters is an exciting week in Georgia. Thousands of people flock to Augusta to watch the major golf tournament. However, this past Thursday morning, some fans loaded onto a charter bus. Their bus left Atlanta heading to Augusta but crashed in Columbia County Georgia. Stephen Hoppenbrouwer was the bus driver. The evidence showed that the bus drifted into the median, overcorrected, and then flipped onto its side. However, the passengers mentioned that Hoppenbrouwer nearly lost control of the bus two times before the accident.
16 of the 18 passengers were taken to Augusta area hospitals. Luckily, none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. Several passengers suffered from broken bones and a couple from head injuries. Those of injuries qualify as “serious” under our law.
Georgia State Troopers reported that Hoppenbrouwer was high on drugs at the time of the crash. They performed field sobriety testing at the crash scene. Hoppenbrouwer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane, and several counts of serious injury by vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Many people are unaware that the DUI statute applies to both alcohol and drugs. Similarly to DUI Alcohol, officers often use field sobriety testing to test whether an individual is under the influence of drugs. The tests can include the Walk and Turn test, the One Leg Stand test, or the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test. In most cases, the officers request a blood test. Sometimes officers request a urine test as well.
A Conviction for DUI Drugs Comes with Serious Consequences in Georgia
A first conviction for DUI-Drugs in Georgia within ten years will result in 12 months of probation, a minimum of 24 hours in jail, a fine of at least $300, 40 hours of community service, DUI school, and a drug and alcohol evaluation. These punishments are just the minimums a person could receive for DUI-Drugs. There is a possibility that a judge would enforce a stricter penalty. Your driver's license is also at risk of being suspended in DUI-Drug cases. Unlike in alcohol-related DUI cases, when convicted of DUI Drugs in Georgia, you may not qualify for a permit to drive.
If convicted of two DUI-Drugs in 10 years, the punishment increases substantially. The penalties include 30 days of community service, 12 months of probation, a minimum of 72 hours in jail, a fine of at least $600, DUI school, and a drug and alcohol evaluation. Also, you will certainly undergo a hard suspension of your license. A hard suspension means that limited work permits are not available.
Some people are charged with possession of a controlled substance along with their DUI-Drug charge. This can cause the penalty to become much more severe.
The Law Office of Richard Lawson fully understands how a DUI-Drug charge can affect you. It can affect every aspect of your life. We are here 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you whenever you need us. If you have been charged with a DUI-Drug in Georgia, contact us now for a free case evaluation.