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Obstructing Traffic And DUI in Georgia

By Atlanta DUI Attorney Bubba Head

A female driver was pulled over in Cherokee County for obstructing traffic and was arrested for DUI less safe and DUI per se. She lost her suppression motion but her Atlanta DUI lawyer appealed this ruling and won her case on appeal.

Atlanta DUI lawyer William C. Head’s female client, who was in a successful business with her partner, was in her convertible on a nice springtime evening, waiting for a red light to change on a divided highway with two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes. She was in the right lane, and another car was sitting at the red light in the left lane. Her cell phone rang. As she reached over to pick up the phone off the passenger seat, the traffic light went from red to green, and she then shifted into first gear, and proceeded through the red light, after a 3 to 4 second delay caused by the cell call. The other car had departed immediately, and was about 60 feet ahead when she started to move through the intersection.

As soon as her car cleared the intersection, a Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputy’s blue lights came on. The officer claimed that she had obstructed traffic by not moving when the light turned green. Bubba Head sought to have the Cherokee County State Court trial judge declare the driver’s initial pullover to be illegal. An officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is about to be committed, to “seize” a motor vehicle by use of blue lights, siren, etc.

This legal issue raised by Atlanta criminal attorney Bubba Head required a pre-trial motion on the constitutional challenge for the pullover of her car. The trial judge denied the motions, which (if granted) would have eliminated both the less safe DUI and the DUI over the legal limit charges, as well as the misdemeanor offense of obstructing traffic. An interlocutory appeal was sought by Atlanta criminal defense attorney William C. Head on behalf of his client prior to trial being conducted. Admitting that the situation was a ‘close call” the trial judge granted the request to ask the appellate courts of Georgia to review the legitimacy of this traffic stop.

The Georgia Court of Appeals granted the appeal, and both sides filed written briefs to argue their respective sides of the case. The intermediate court of appeals later overturned the trial judge’s ruling that denied the constitutional challenge, basically pointing out that the driver moved forward within a very short time period, and that drivers need not zoom away from a stopped position as soon as a red light changes. The breathalyzer test results (0.106) and all evidence of her alleged driving while impaired by alcohol case should have been excluded by the Cherokee County judge, the appellate court held. Mr. Head’s client’s entire drunk driving case was dismissed as a result of this appeal, without risking trial.

This appellate victory saved her job, by assuring that she did not have a criminal record of impaired driving.

Call 41-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we have to win your DUI case and get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. We are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515

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