An unidentified woman contacted police about an incident that occurred off of Georgia 136. She explained that she was returning to her residence after picking up dinner in Gainesville when she was pulled over by what she believed to be an unmarked patrol car.
A man who appeared to be an officer walked up to her window and asked her where she was headed. He then “verbally reprimanded” her for leaving her house during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. He then threatened to issue her a citation for violating the Hands-Free Georgia Act.
The woman reported that he did not end up issuing a citation and just told her to return home and stay indoors.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I covered one of the laws that defines the law around impersonating a police officer in the state of Georgia in my last post. In today's post, I will actually cover the law behind the offense that the man allegedly told the woman he would issue her a citation for - violation of the Hands-Free Georgia Act.
Violation of the Hands Free Georgia Act
A violation of the Hands Free Georgia Act is also known as distracted driving in Georgia. This is a DUI related offense as officers will pull drivers over for a routine traffic stop if they see someone violating this act. This can lead to a more in depth investigation and lead to a charge for DUI in Georgia.
The law behind distracted driving is stated as:
- 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.
Call our offices today if you or a loved one has been arrested in the state of Georgia.