As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, a lot of my clients are initially pulled over for allegedly failing to maintain lane. This is one of the most common traffic stops that leads to a DUI investigation. The majority of DUI cases start with a routine traffic stop and end with a citation for both a traffic violation and an arrest for DUI in Georgia.
In today's post I will focus on the law behind failure to maintain lane in Georgia and expand on the law and the legal consequences if convicted of this offense.
Failure to Maintain Lane in Georgia
If a driver is cited for failing to maintain lane in Georgia, it is because of a violation of a statute within the Georgia Code that defines how drivers are supposed to legally drive on Georgia roads. The statute is as follows:
Whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, the following rules, in addition to all others consistent with this Code section, shall apply:
(1) A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety;
(2) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes, and provides for two-way movement of traffic, with two lanes in one direction, a vehicle being driven in a continuous or center lane shall have the right of way when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction;
(3) Upon a roadway which is divided into three lanes and provides for two-way movement of traffic, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking and passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction when such center lane is clear of traffic within a safe distance, or in preparation for making a left turn, or where such center lane is at the time allocated exclusively to traffic moving in the same direction that the vehicle is proceeding and such allocation is designated by official traffic-control devices or road striping;
(4) Official traffic-control devices may be erected directing specified traffic, including but not limited to buses or trucks, to use a designated lane or designating those lanes to be used by traffic moving in a particular direction regardless of the center of the roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device;
(5) Official traffic-control devices may be installed prohibiting the changing of lanes on sections of roadway, and drivers of vehicles shall obey the directions of every such device. O.C.G.A. §40-6-48.
The most interesting part of the statute and about an alleged violation of this statute, is that the majority of the time the driver's failure to maintain lane is in all actuality just a slight movement within the lane – which is 100% legal. On top of that, drivers are entitled to weave outside their lanes if it is first ascertained as safe to do so.
As a Georgia DUI Attorney, I am familiar with defending this offense. If you or a loved one have been accused of DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today. Your case will not defend itself. Our firm specializes in Georgia DUI Defenses. Call now.