The City of Dunwoody which is located in Dekalb County has released it reports and statistics from crime last year - 2019.
According to reports, there was an apparent drop in violent crime. However, officers gave out a significantly higher amount of citations and arrested more suspects. Violent crimes were reportedly down 4.6% from the previous year. The number of citations and arrests, however, jumped a shocking 55%. There were 7,906 citations issued in 2018 and 12,246 last year.
The report does not analyze why the drastic jump in citations. However, part of the increase can be led back to 2019 being the first full year that the Georgia Hands Free Law was enforced.
The Georgia Hands Free Law has led to an increase in arrests for DUI in Georgia. The strict distracted driving law has led to more drivers being pulled over which in turn has led to more DUI investigations.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law in its entirety in today's post.
The Georgia Hands Free Law
Distracted driving in Georgia is defined in the same statute as always. However, since the Georgia Hands Free Law was enacted, there have been some major changes. These changes include:
- Drivers cannot have a phone in their hand or touching any part of their body while talking on their phone while driving.
- Even with hands-free technology, drivers cannot write, read or send text messages, e-mails, social media content and other internet data while on the road. (Voice to text is allowed)
- Drivers cannot watch videos when they are on the road. (Navigational/GPS videos are allowed)
- Drivers cannot use their phones or electronic devices to record video when they are on the road. (Continuously running dash cams are allowed)
- Drivers may listen to streaming music that does not include videos on the screen of their phone or device while driving but cannot touch their phones while on the road to activate or program any music streaming app. Streaming music that is controlled by and listened through the vehicle's radio is allowed. Drivers who need to touch their phones to activate/program their music streaming apps must do so before getting on the road
- The fine for a first conviction is $50.00 and 1 point assessed against the driver's license. The fine is $100.00 and 2 points for a second conviction and $150.00 and 3 points for three or more conviction. The fines for a 2nd or 3rd offense only apply when date of a 2nd or 3rd conviction takes place within 24 months of the date of the first conviction. First time offenders can have the charge dropped by showing the court they have obtained a device that allows them to talk on a phone with hands-free technology or devices.
As I stated above, offenses such as texting while driving in Georgia can lead to much more serious and much more in-depth investigations. Call our offices today if you have been arrested.
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