When Georgia law enforcement are hunting for intoxicated drivers, one of the main reasons police officers cite for the initial stop of a vehicle is that a driver illegally passed another vehicle. In many cases, this is simply a pretext for looking for something more. Understanding Georgia's roadway passing laws can help protect your license and your right to drive.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol as a result of a passing violation, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can represent you in your case. You have rights that deserve to be defended.
Illegal Passing: What You Need to Know
There are a variety of different ways that a Georgia driver is able to violate Georgia's passing laws. Following these laws can prevent the initial stop, and prevent you from being subjected to inaccurate
- breath tests,
- field sobriety tests, and
- illegal searches of your vehicle.
Illegal Passing on the Left
Drivers are not allowed to pass on the left of another vehicle unless
- the left side is clearly visible;
- is free of any oncoming traffic; and
- will not cause issues with traffic for a sufficient distance.
People are pulled over for illegal passing on the left most often when that passing would seem to cause danger to others.
Illegal Passing on the Right
A Georgia driver may only pass another driver on the right under two circumstances.
- When you are approaching another driver from behind and he or she is currently making or about to make a left-hand turn.
- On a Georgia highway or street, with two or more lanes, and when the drivers are traveling in the same direction.
While it is more typical to pass someone on the left, sometimes drivers "hang out" in the left lane going under the speed limit. In that case, it is appropriate to pass on the right. However, you may not drive off the roadway to make a pass.
If you pass illegally on the right, you could be investigated for a possible DUI.
No Passing Zones
Certain areas of Georgia roadways are marked to make passing illegal. They are marked by a
- solid barrier line on the right-hand side of the road,
- a solid double yellow line in the center of the road, or
- a combination dashed and solid yellow line where the solid line is on your side of the road.
Passing in one of these areas can get you pulled over and may subject you to investigation for DUI.
Speeding to Pass Another Vehicle
It is not permissible under Georgia law to speed in order to pass another vehicle. There is no exception for this situation, even when it seems to make sense to be able to safely pass a slow-moving driver. In that case, you can receive a ticket for speeding and illegal passing if both were committed at the same time.
Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney
Illegal passing is very often the reason for the initial stop but is often not the real reason that law enforcement pulled you over. If you were pulled over for illegal passing, our experienced Georgia DUI attorneys can defend your traffic ticket for illegal passing as well as a resulting DUI.
Contact us today.