A man was arrested last week after crashing into a Gwinnett County Deputy's patrol car. Arnoldo Escobar was allegedly texting and driving under the influence when he crossed a median on I-85 and hit the deputy's car. According to reports, he admitted to texting while he was driving.
Escobar is facing charges of DUI, texting while driving, failure to maintain lane, and driving in the gore.
As I've discussed before, many times with a DUI charge, there are accompanying routine traffic charges. Beyond Escobar's DUI in Georgia, let's take a look at what else he is facing.
Texting While Driving
Georgia law defines texting while driving in Georgia through its distracted driving laws (O.C.G.A. §40-6-241.1 and §22.214.171.124). Georgia considers distracted driving as conduct that threatens the safety of drivers, passengers, property, and bystanders.
The Georgia Code defines distracted driving as “no person who is 18 years of age or older or who has a Class C license shall operate a motor vehicle on any public road or highway of this state while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data.” O.C.G.A. §40-6-241.2(b).
Another part of the statute prohibits drivers under 18 years of age to use any type of wireless communication while driving (applying to drivers holding their learner's permit or Class D license). O.C.G.A. §40-6-241.1. The only exceptions to this statute are using a wireless telecommunications device while the car is legally parked or for the purpose of reporting an accident or crime.
A wireless telecommunications device counts as a cell phone, a text messaging device, a digital personal assistant, a stand alone computer, or anything else that is used to initiate and receive wireless communication.
Failure to Maintain Lane
Failure to maintain lane in Georgia is one of the most common routine traffic stops that results in DUI investigation. Georgia law defines failure to maintain lane as “when a road has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, 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” (O.C.G.A. §40-6-48).
The statute is actually really ambiguous because it suggests that as long as the moving to another lane is done safely, it is lawful. A well-experienced Georgia DUI Lawyer will be able to defend your case.
Driving in the Gore
Most people don't know that driving into the portion of the road between the entrance ramp or between the lanes of the highway is in fact illegal. Georgia law defines driving in the gore in Georgia as “no vehicle shall be driven over, across, or within any dividing space, barrier, gore, paved shoulder, or section separating the roadways of a divided highway” (O.C.G.A. §40-6-50).
The following are examples of driving in the gore:
- Driving on the wrong ramp and cutting back across the gore to get back on the highway.
- Cutting through the gore to get back on the right exit ramp.
- Driving down the exit ramp and cutting through the gore to enter the highway.
As you can see, these are common driver errors we see on Georgia roadways all the time. In fact, a lot of these traffic violations are very common, but it's important to note that they can lead to DUI investigations. A Georgia DUI Attorney can best defend your case by using Georgia DUI Defenses that apply specifically to your case. Hiring a lawyer who can investigate all the details surrounding your case is of the utmost importance. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia, contact us today.