Have You Been Cited For Illegal Stopping on a Roadway?
Was Illegal Stopping on a Roadway the Basis of Your DUI Arrest?
Many people accused of DUI had stopped and pulled over to the side of the road, because they realized they were not safe to drive. Some even pass out in the middle of the roadway as a result of intoxication. Doing so will lead to a violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203.
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203 prohibits stopping a vehicle in specified places. It prohibits any halting, even if momentary, of a vehicle on a controlled-access highway except when necessary to keep clear from striking other traffic or to comply with the directions of a police officer or traffic-control signal or sign.
If you are charged with DUI as a result of illegally stopping on a roadway, call our office as soon as possible. You only have 30 day to file an appeal to save your license. The DUI Attorneys at our office can file that appeal for you.
Richard Lawson is a former DUI Prosecutor with more than 25 years experience handling cases throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. He is the top-rated and most reviewed DUI Attorney on Avvo. Put his experience to work for you.
What are the Rules As To Where a Driver Can and Cannot Stop or Park a Vehicle?
- Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203, you cannot stop, stand, or park your vehicle in any of the following places in Georgia:
- On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge of a curb of a street;
- On a sidewalk;
- Within an intersection;
- On a crosswalk;
- Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless a different length is indicated by signs or markings;
- Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic;
- Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway tunnel;
- On any railroad tracks;
- On any controlled-access highway;
- In the area between roadways of a divided highway, including crossovers; or
- At any place where official signs prohibit stopping;
Are There Any Exceptions to These Rules?
Yes, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203 carves out several exceptions. First, it allows standing, parking, or stopping your vehicle “when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or the directions of a police officer or official traffic-control device.”
Additionally, under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203 (2), you can MOMENTARILY stand or park your vehicle to pick up or drop off passenger(s), in the following places:
- In front of a public or private driveway;
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant;
- Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection;
- Within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic-control signal located at the side of a roadway;
- Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station or on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of such entrance (when properly posted); or
- At any place where official signs prohibit standing.
There is also an exception to the prohibition against stopping within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing or at any place where official signs prohibit parking. This exception allows you to stop temporarily when you are loading or unloading property or people from your vehicle.
Finally, the statute provides an exception for those picking up waste or similar materials. In these situations, however, you must put on your hazard lights for the entire time.
How Does This Violation Affect My DUI Charge?
First, a violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203 can be the basis for an officer stopping your vehicle. For example, in Gantt v. State, 263 Ga. App. 102 (1) (587 SE2d 255) (2003), the defendant was found guilty of DUI-Less Safe, driving without a license in her possession, and improper stopping. In that case, the evidence showed that an officer responded to a citizen reporting a possible drunk driver, and the officer found the described car stopped at a traffic signal. Id. When the light turned green, the defendant's car remained stopped, and vehicles behind it were forced to go around it, and approaching cars had to break hard to keep from crashing into it. Id. This was more than sufficient for the officer to stop the defendant. Id.
Second, an O.C.G.A. § 40-6-203 violation may lead to the impoundment of your vehicle. If your vehicle was blocking traffic, an officer would have grounds to impound your car. The Court of Appeals has even held in Lewis v. State, 294 Ga. App. 607, 609-610 (1) (a) (669 SE2d 558) (2008), that an officer's decision to move a car parked on a sidewalk was reasonable. As part of the impoundment process, an officer is authorized to take an inventory search of your vehicle. The Supreme Court of Georgia has explained that the rationale of this search is to protect the owner's property, to protect law enforcement against claims for lost or stolen property, and to protect the police from danger. Wright v. State, 276 Ga. 454 (2003). Anything the officer finds in relation to this search can be used as evidence against you.
Motions to Suppress in Cases Involving Improper Stopping on a Roadway:
There are many potential defenses to the charge of illegally stopping on a roadway. With these defenses, a skilled DUI Lawyer can fight against the probable cause to arrest his client. If the reason for the stop falls within the above-listed exceptions, it may eliminate the reason for the initial police interaction. If the police should not have interacted with you, it may become a defense to the DUI arrest itself. That is why our lawyers file motions to suppress in every case. Through a motion to suppress, we challenge the reason for the police interaction with our clients.
If the motion is granted, then the State cannot prosecute the DUI case. All motions must be filed at or before a person's arraignment. Without motions, there is no way to challenge the admission of evidence at a person's trial.
Can an Attorney Help If I Have Been Charged with an Improper Stopping Violation in Georgia?
Yes! As with any offense, no person is guilty unless and until convicted. Our office helps people with their traffic tickets and DUI arrests throughout Georgia. Our Georgia Traffic Ticket Lawyers and Atlanta Traffic Ticket Lawyers are skilled negotiators.
There is hope if you are charged with a traffic violation or DUI, and we can help. Our office is available 24/7. Call now! Your ticket will not defend itself.