Driving News – A-1 Driving Schools | 19 Locations in Atlanta, GA

5 ways to avoid a DUI this holiday season

Photo by Johan Funke on Unsplash

For most people, the holidays mean spending time with friends and family. One of the greatest gifts you can give this season is

 sober driving. We deal with drunk drivers daily, but the holidays are a time when DUIs are much more prevalent. Here are some ways you can stay safe during the holidays!

1. Plan ahead

If you plan to go out and drink, make sure you have a way to get home or plan to stay there.

2. Be a designated driver

To make sure your friends and family get home safe, volunteer to be the sober driver. Groups should always have a friend stay sober so they can drive.

3. Do not allow underage drinking

Underage drinkers are more likely to drive under the influence. Although the holidays can be a time to let things slide, do not let underage children drink at holiday parties.

4. Make space for people to spend the nightPhoto by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

If you’re hosting a holiday get-together, it’s a wise idea to let people have the option to spend the night. Letting friends and family crash in a spare bedroom or on a couch is a helpful way to help those you love stay safe.

5. Watch out for your friends

Don’t let your friends drive impaired. If you see anyone trying to drive who shouldn’t be, do them a favor and take their keys. The biggest gift you can give your friends is a chance to see another day.

Please choose to drive sober! By driving sober you are saving your own life and keeping many others safe. Always remember, that Georgia drivers can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. Stay safe during the holidays.

Read more at United States Department of Transportation

Georgia mayor and wife killed in Cherokee County crash

EMERSON, Ga.- Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed that beloved mayor Albert ‘Al’ Pallone and his wife, Millie, were killed in a fatal DUI crash Saturday afternoon.

Albert Pallone, Picture courtesy of the Daily Tribune.

The couple was traveling on Knox Bridge Highway when the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck barreled over the centerline smashing into Pallone’s Hyundai Santa Fe. The second target of the Chevrolet pickup was a Mazda 3.

The Santa Fe lost control and rolled into the eastbound lane, where a GMC Savanna van rammed into the mayor’s car. The mayor and his wife were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Mazda 3 and GMC Savanna drivers were transported to a hospital nearby. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

William Bryan Abernathy, 50, the driver of the Chevrolet pickup, was arrested and charged with reckless driving, DUI, serious injury by vehicle, and vehicular homicide.

After fifteen years of serving North Georgia, Pallone’s death will leave a massive void in the community.

 

Read more at fox5atlanta.com and WSBtv.com

Gainesville man charged with DUI

A Gainesville man charged with DUI and other traffic charges was airlifted following a three-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon in Tallulah Falls that resulted in serious injuries.

The crash occurred on Ga. 15 just past Tallulah Falls dam. Both Rabun and Habersham Counties responded to the crash.

Edmanuel Leonardo Mendoza, 21, of Gainesville, was traveling south on Ga. 15 in the left lane in a silver 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. Mendoza failed to maintain his lane of travel and traveled into the turning lane and towards the northbound lanes of Ga. 15, striking a white 2013 Dodge Caravan, driven by a 17-year-old of College Park, Ga., with three-17-year-old passengers, that was traveling north on Ga. 15 in the left lane, in the right front with its front, according to Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Post 7-Toccoa.

Photo: Google Images

After impact, the Camaro rotated clockwise and came to an uncontrolled final rest facing northwest in the turning lane of Ga. 15.

The Caravan rotated clockwise and a silver 2005 Chevy Tahoe, driven by Robert Guess, 71, of Demorest, with passenger Karen Guess, 70, of Demorest, and traveling south on Ga. 15 in the right lane, struck the Caravan in the right front quarter panel with its front. After impact, the Caravan came to an uncontrolled final rest facing west in the southbound lanes of Ga. 15.  The Tahoe came to an uncontrolled final rest facing south in the right lane of Ga. 15 southbound, GSP reported.

The 17-year-old driver and three 17-year-old passengers were transported to hospitals.

Mendoza is charged with DUI and other traffic charges, GSP reported.

Georgia drivers can be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher.

The Georgia courts impose criminal penalties including:

  • Fines
  • Jail time;
  • Public service.

The Department of Driver Services imposes administrative penalties including:

  • Suspension or revocation of your license.

The higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties may be. Multiple convictions will also result in harsher sentences.

Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

how much is a road test

Photo: Google Images

Road test typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes. After you pass the test, there may be an additional wait time at the DMV to process your paperwork, take your picture, and issue a license once you pass.

Skip the DMV! We now offer onsite road testing at select A-1 Driving School locations.

A-1 Onsite Road Testing Qualifications

  • 16 & 17-year-old students must have completed the classroom or online 30-hour Joshua’s Law course + 6 hours of driving lessons at A-1 Driving Schools.
  • 18-year-old students do not have to have taken classes with us. Must have a valid Georgia Driver’s permit.
$95.00 – Student Under 18 Road Test
$
150.00
 – Adult Over 18 Road Test
Register Now
For more information about Driving School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Cop Wrongly Blamed Teen Bicyclist For Fatal Strike From DUI Driver

A 17-year-old struck by a DUI driver in Georgia was blamed for her own death by an officer who didn’t understand state laws pertaining to bicyclists.

Ignorance of the law by officials is just one of a laundry list of threats bike riders have to deal with on a daily basis.

Obianuju Osuegbu was on her way home when she was hit from behind on Highway 11 in Winder, Georgia back in August 2020, according to WSBTV-2, by driver Chrissy Rawlins. Rawlins was charged with DUI and endangering her own children, but not with Osuegbu’s death due to cops not making up Georgia laws pertaining to bicyclists and putting the blame on Osuegbu.

Photo: WSB-TV

Rawlins wasn’t just intoxicated the night of the crash, she was rocking four illegal substances in her bloodstream, including methamphetamine and Valium.

Being a bicyclist is incredibly dangerous in America, and the law certainly does little to back up bike riders.

Deaths have been on the rise over the last decade. From a 2010 low of 618 deaths, the most recent data available from 2019 pegs deaths at an astonishing 846 deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How to keep bicyclists safe:

  • Watch for vehicles coming out of or turning into driveways.
  • Stop at corners of sidewalks and streets to look for anyone crossing before driving
  • 3 Feet of Clearance: More than 20 states have passed laws requiring motorists to give bicycles on the road about 3 feet of space.

DUI Laws | What You Need to Know

The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

How To Prepare Road Test

Skip the DMV! We now offer onsite road testing at select A-1 Driving School locations.

A-1 Onsite Road Testing Qualifications

  • 16 & 17-year-old students must have completed the classroom or online 30-hour Joshua’s Law course + 6 hours of driving lessons at A-1 Driving Schools.
  • 18-year-old students do not have to have taken classes with us. Must have a valid Georgia Driver’s permit.
$95.00 – Student Under 18 Road Test
$
150.00
 – Adult Over 18 Road Test
Register Now

A-1 Driving School Locations offering Road Testing

  • Marietta
  • Roswell
  • Conyers
  • Lawrenceville
  • Athens
  • Douglasville
  • Johns Creek
  • Snellville
  • Jonesboro
For more information about Driving School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Fuel Tax Suspension Passes State Senate Committee

Relief at the pump is looking good for Georgians. The state Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to suspend Georgia’s gas tax.

House representatives passed the bill on March 11, which means the full Senate must pass it to land on Governor Brian Kemp’s desk, who’s expected to sign the measure.

The Senate could hold the vote as early as Tuesday evening.

This bill would give drivers relief while gas prices continue to climb by suspending the additional 29 cents per gallon.

If passed, the measure would last through May 31.

Drivers were paying well above $4.00 per gallon at many gas stations around Atlanta and said that suspending the tax would bring only a small amount of help but still want lawmakers to approve it immediately.

For drivers who are looking to stretch their gas for as many miles as possible, auto expert Lauren Fix of Car Coach Reports has three simple tips:

Don’t idle your vehicle.

“We typically think it’s only a couple of pennies to sit in the drive-thru,” Fix said. “Park your vehicle. Go inside. That will save you the most fuel.”

Limit the weight

She recommends not carrying anything in your car you don’t need. By limiting the weight inside your car, you could increase your car’s fuel efficiency.

Stay up-to-date on maintenance.

“Anytime an engine is not maintained properly, that means something’s not functioning properly,” Fix said. “So you’re not going to get the best fuel economy when a pump or hose isn’t working.”

Whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver, A-1 offers classes that will help you brush up on some rules and regulations before it’s too late.

If you have a clean driving record for 3 years, you may take the 6-hour Defensive Driving Program to receive a 10% -15% discount on your auto insurance premium. The insurance discount percentage is determined by your insurance company.

For more information about class schedules or to see A-1’s 19 convenient locations call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Man accused of DUI, Killing High School Student Dies in Jail

Photo: Google Images

Fayette County deputies found 60-year-old Robert Lee Stevenson’s body in an infirmary cell.

Stevenson, of Senoia, was being held without bond on eight charges including DUI and homicide by vehicle.

He was accused of killing 16-year-old Russell Logan, a student at Starr’s Mill High School Feb. 10.

News outlets have reported that Logan was walking home after watching a lacrosse game.

Penalties for DUI in Georgia are related to the number of prior offenses:

When someone has a first DUI in Georgia they face the following potential penalties:

  • 12 months of probation
  • A minimum fine of $300 plus court costs and surcharges
  • Between 1 – 10 days in jail, which many times can be waived
  • At least 40 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Attendance of the DUI Risk Reduction School (commonly referred to as DUI School)
  • Attendance of a Madd Mothers Victim Impact Panel
  • Drivers License Suspension, with a limited permit to drive

When someone has a second DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • Between 12 – 36 months of probation
  • Fines of between $600 – $1000, plus all applicable surcharges and court costs
  • Between 90 days – 12 months in jail, all of which can be done through probation except for at least 3 days that must be served in jail.
  • 30 days of community service (240 hours)
  • DUI School
  • Driver’s License Suspension
  • Red stripe on license
  • Installing of an ignition interlock device, after a “hard license suspension” of 120 days
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Mandatory substance abuse counseling
  • Potential DUI Court, in jurim
  • Photo publication in the legal organ of the county in which the offense occured

Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

 

How to Parallel Park for Road Test

Using these general guidelines with the following steps will make parallel parking easier and safer for the novice driver:

  • Stop your vehicle even with the car parked in front of the opening (steering wheel to properly steering wheel), approximately 2 to 3 feet from the parked vehicle.
  • Shift into reverse at this point so as to immediately warn drivers approaching from the rear of your intentions to back into the parking space. Also, be sure to check for traffic approaching from the rear before starting to back, because your front end will swing out into the adjacent lane.
  • When clear, back slowly while turning the steering wheel quickly all the way right, and continue back until the upright portion of your front seat on the passenger side is in line with the rear bumper of the vehicle you are parking behind (using the curb and the front bumper of the car parked behind as a 90 degree angle you would be at about 45 degrees).
  • Continue back slowly as you quickly turn the wheel back to center (a glance forward is allowed for a reference check), and keep backing until your front bumper is in line with the rear bumper of the vehicle you are parking behind.
  • Continue back slowly as as you turn the wheels sharply left. As your vehicle nears the car behind and your front end swings in line with the curb, stop and shift into drive.
Photo: Google Images
  • Road test typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes. After you pass the test, there may be an additional wait time at the DMV to process your paperwork, take your picture, and issue a license once you pass.
    Skip the DMV! We now offer onsite road testing at select A-1 Driving School locations.

    A-1 Onsite Road Testing Qualifications

    • 16 & 17-year-old students must have completed the classroom or online 30-hour Joshua’s Law course + 6 hours of driving lessons at A-1 Driving Schools.
    • 18-year-old students do not have to have taken classes with us. Must have a valid Georgia Driver’s permit.
    $95.00 – Student Under 18 Road Test
    $
    150.00
     – Adult Over 18 Road Test
    Register Now
    For more information about Driving School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!

Driver Facing Murder Charge

Photo: Google Images

A man accused of killing a man standing on the shoulder of I-85 while trying to avoid a traffic stop is in police custody and facing a litany of charges, including felony murder in Gwinnett County.

The Georgia State Patrol said Victor Allen Smith, 55, led a trooper on a pursuit after trying to avoid a traffic stop.

The trooper activated their patrol car lights, officials said, and the driver sped off north into Gwinnett County, weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed. Georgia State Patrol said it lost control south of Jimmy Carter Boulevard on I-85.

That’s when troopers said the driver skidded into the east shoulder and emergency lane where Martinez and the wrecker driver were standing.

Hugo N. Martinez, 22, died in the collision. Officials said a wrecker had just finished loading his broken-down car on I-85 north. The driver of the wrecker was able to jump over a concrete barrier, officials said and avoided being hit.

Smith faces several charges, including traffic offenses:

  • Speeding
  • Improper Lane Change
  • Fleeing and Attempting to Elude
  • HOV Violation
  • Driving While License Suspended or Revoked
  • DUI Drugs/Less Safe
  • Reckless Driving
  • Felony Murder
  • Homicide by Vehicle (1st Degree)
  • Driving in the Emergency Lane
  • Too Fast for Conditions
  • Failure to Maintain Lane
  • Following Too Closely

Smith is in Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of Hugo Martinez.
Speeding causes accidents!

Whether you are 15 and in need of taking the course or 45 and you just want to brush up on the rules and regulations of driving, A-1 Driving School is here to help!

DUI Laws | What You Need to Know

The laws make it illegal for drivers of all ages to operate motor vehicles if they have BAC percentages of:

  • 0.08% or higher, if they’re 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
  • 0.04% or higher, if they’re operating commercial vehicles.
  • 0.02% or higher, if they’re younger than 21 years old.

Georgia State law also requires clinical evaluation and the attendance of a DUI / Risk Reduction Program that’s certified/licensed by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services before your driver’s license can be reinstated if you have been charged with any of the following:

  1. DUI
  2. Drug Possession
  3. Other drug offenses
  4. Under-age possession of drugs or alcohol

Before getting behind the wheel after having a few, consider the many reasons why you should not.

For more information about DUI School visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555!