When officers pull over a driver suspected of DUI, it is often for a reason other than just a "gut feeling" the driver may be intoxicated. Instead, officers wait until the driver commits one or more traffic offenses, even very minor ones, before initiating a traffic stop.
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Georgia, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your rights.
Georgia Stop Sign Laws
O.C.G.A. §40-6-72 is the Georgia law which describes a driver's responsibilities when it comes to stop signs on the road. It states, in part:
"(b) Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways."
Some other important things to know about the stop sign law is that it does not mention how long to stop. The important thing is to avoid the "rolling stop." This is where the car never actually comes to a full standstill, but instead simply slows down almost to the point of stopping, but remains in motion. This is not legal and can get you pulled over.
How long should you stop?
The law does not say. However, make sure you come to a complete stop, and a good rule is to give your self a full two to three seconds. ("One Mississippi" and so forth).
Penalty for Running a Stop Sign
If you run a stop sign, the penalty is not incredibly severe, but does include:
- a fine; and
- points on your driver's license.
Receiving points on your license can eventually lead to a license suspension and an increase in your auto insurance rates
However, the penalties become much more severe when a person is charged with running a stop sign and an accompanying DUI charge. In fact, because Georgia traffic offenses are technically misdemeanors, courts often tack on an additional 12 months of probation for the stop sign infraction on top of the penalties for the DUI.
Consult an Experienced Georgia DUI Attorney
When a person is charged with a smaller offense along with a DUI offense the penalties can quickly add up and become much more serious. In other cases, the use of this "smaller offense" may be a pretext for a stop which can be a useful defense to the DUI charge.