Driving News – A-1 Driving School

COVID-19 Driving Restriction

Photo: Google Images

The U.S. Constitution ensures the “right to travel,” but during the coronavirus pandemic, state and local officials are increasingly telling drivers to stay home.

  • Do your research beforehand. Go to the official website of the state and localities that you are traveling to — and those between. Some states and municipalities are setting up border checkpoints and screenings, which may affect your trip, though no state has blocked through travel.

  • Before a longer trip, speak with a health care provider and get your vehicle checked for maintenance. Contact hotels to be sure they’re still open.

  • Check for open rest stops along your route. They vary by state, but as gas stations are essential businesses, they make a good option for restrooms. Pack food or plan for drive-through and carryout options only.

  • Don’t leave the driveway without packing necessary travel documents, including health insurance cards, along with ample snacks, water and, of course disinfectant spray and wipes.

  • Truck stops and travel plazas are still open, but you may notice a few changes on the roadside. Many locations across the country have transitioned to curbside or takeout options. Additionally, some locations have installed tap and pay machines to limit person-to-person contact.

These tips come from AAA and NATSO.

Please be safe on the roads!

The same safe driving practices that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can apply to be a safe driver in a car and on a motorcycle.

There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

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!

What to Know About GA DUI

Photo: Google Images

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

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

  • Between 12 -36 months of probation
  • Fines of $1000 – $5000, plus all court costs and surcharges
  • 120 days to 12 months in jail, with at least 15 days of actual incareceration (note a third DUI is a high and aggravated misdemeanor)
  • 30 days of community service (240 hours)
  • DUI School
  • Five (5) years of driver’s license suspension (with an interlock permit available after two years)
  • Surrender of license plate
  • Photo publication in the legal organ of the accused’s home county
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment
  • Declaration of Habitual Violator Status
  • Potential DUI Court, in jurisdictions that have the program

When someone has prior DUI Convictions in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • Punishment for drivers who have had prior DUI convictions depends on both the number of prior offenses and the severity of the current offense
  • Georgia has a 10-year “look back” period when determining required enhancements in a person’s punishment
  • Georgia has a 5-year “look back period when determining the driver’s license consequences of a person’s DUI offense
  • Georgia’s “look back” period has never prevented a judge or prosecutor from deciding whether to hold a prior offense against someone accused of DUI. The “look back” period only refers to mandatory penalties and punishments.  In practice, most courts punish people based on their entire criminal record, not just the number of offenses in the past five or ten years

When someone is charged with DUI Drugs in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • The penalties for DUI Drugs in Georgia are essentially the same as alcohol-related DUI cases
  • The main difference is that those convicted of DUI Drugs do not qualify for a restricted license or limited permit

When someone is charged with Prescription Drug DUI in Georgia, they face the following potential penalties:

  • The penalties for Prescription Drug DUI in Georgia are the same as with any other DUI in Georgia
  • The difference is that people convicted of DUI while impaired by any drug may not qualify for a limited permit or restricted license.
  • The other main difference is that there is often more sympathy for this from of driving under the influence, and as a result, some prosecutors are more flexible in their evaluation of the case

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!

Empty Georgia Roads Creating Desire for Triple-Digit Speed

Less traffic on Georgia roads these days may seem like a welcome side benefit of this pandemic.

But metro law enforcement leaders complain they’re seeing a new and more dangerous problem: more people driving not just fast, but at speeds over 100 miles an hour.

Alpharetta police pull over someone going 111 in a 65 MPH zone. Police report more people hitting triple digits with fewer cars on the roads. (Alpharetta police)

Snellville police ticketed this man for reckless driving and speeding. He was clocked going 103 in a 45 MPH zone. (Snellville police). The driver explained he was looking for a bathroom.

Alpharetta police had so many triple-digit speeders they created their own graphic warning people to slow down during this pandemic.

“I think people can’t normally go this fast because traffic’s usually more dense,” said Snellville police chief Roy Whitehead. “But with the reduction of the number of cars that are out there, I think that there’s more opportunity.”

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!

Atlanta Drivers Education has been mandated for all 16-year-old drivers. We are here to spread the awareness of safe driving habits and that driving is a very serious responsibility.

We have 19 convenient locations around the metro Atlanta area offering different programs. For more information call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Drinking Alcohol Will Not Protect You From Coronavirus!

In case it bears repeating, the World Health Organization wants you to know that excessive alcohol consumption will not protect you against Covid-19. It won’t kill the virus, either — the opposite is true.

“At times of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviors, mental health issues, and violence,” WHO/Europe said in a factsheet published.

WHO said the theory that drinking high-strength ethyl alcohol or ethanol can kill the virus is false. While products made with 60% or more alcohol can effectively disinfect the skin, the same process won’t work inside your body.

Photo: Google Images

Alcohol-related deaths number 3 million every year

Excessive alcohol use is already an issue, pandemic or not, said Carina Ferreira-Borges, program manager for WHO’s Europe Alcohol and Illicit Drugs Programme. Every year, there are at least 3 million alcohol-related deaths worldwide, according to WHO.

Existing rules to limit alcohol use should be “upheld and even reinforced” during the pandemic, WHO said, and relaxing regulations isn’t a good idea, either.

DUI Clinical Evaluations and Treatment Classes

A-1 is offering State/DHR approved Drug and Alcohol Evaluations at our 19 convenient Atlanta locations. All of our DUI Clinical Evaluators are experienced, DHR Certified, and here to help our customers in their time of need.

Step 1: Evaluation

  1. Simply review our DUI clinical evaluations schedule and save your spot online, or call (770) 962-9555 to make an appointment by phone.
  2. Pay online. The cost for our DUI Clinical Evaluation is $95 (the State minimum) which covers your Clinical Evaluation and your transfer fee.

*Be careful other DUI Schools will charge you up to $25 for transfer fees (the State maximum).

Step 2: Treatment

A-1 Is now offering ASAM Level 1 DUI counseling. If you are required to take treatment after your clinical evaluation, A-1 can help. All of our counselors are DHR certified and are experienced in helping customers overcome

For more information visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call (770) 962-9555 to make an appointment by phone.

D’Andre Swift is Headed to the NFL!

 

D'Andre Swift utilizes A-1 Driving SchoolWe are proud to share the exciting news regarding D’Andre Swift, UGA running back, and one of A-1 Driving School’s most famous customers – He is headed to the NFL.

From SI.com:

D’Andre Swift arrived in Athens as a five-star recruit out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the number one player in his state, the number four running back in the nation, and was ranked 33rd overall. Upon arrival in Athens, Swift made an instant impact for the Georgia Football program…

…So the consensus is that D’Andre Swift will be a late first-round pick, and the first running back selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. Experts feel that the Miami Dolphins or the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, are the best landing spots for Swift to apply his trade at the professional level.

Take Your Class, Virtually!

Because of COVID-19, all A-1 Driving School classes have been approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services to be offered virtually.

Register exactly as you would if you were attending class. Days and times will stay the same.

A-1 Driving School has helped thousands of drivers with DUI School and Risk Reduction classes, Defensive Driving courses, Driver’s Education/Joshua’s Law programs, and Teen/Adult Driving lessons.

DUI/Risk Reduction Program

  • DUI
  • Drug Possession
  • Other drug offenses
  • Underage possession of drugs or alcohol
  • The Assessment
  • The 20-hour DUI Course
  • Certificate of Completion

Defensive Driving Course

  • Ticket Dismissal
  • Points Reduction
  • License Suspension under 18 years old
  • License Suspension under 21 years old
  • License Suspension
  • Fine Reduction
  • Insurance Discounts
  • Earn Your Certificate of Completion

With 19 convenient locations in and around the Metro Atlanta area, we make traffic school efficient and easy. Visit www.a1drivingschools.com or call for information – (770) 962-9555.

Georgia Dept. of Driver Services Grants 60-Day Renewal Extension for Licenses and ID Cards

Gov. Brian Kemp and Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Spencer R. Moore have announced an emergency operations plan for the agency which includes a 60-day extension for many Georgia residents with a driver’s license or state ID card nearing expiration.

In addition to the extended expiration dates, the DDS is closing all of its customer-facing service centers until further notice.

All valid Georgia driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards with an expiration date between now and June 30, 2020, will receive an extension by a period of 60 days.

Notices will be mailed and new cards will be printed and mailed directly to customers.

Eligible types include identification cards, commercial (CDL) and non-commercial driver’s licenses, limited permits and driving permits.

Medical certifications and CDL endorsements will be extended along with the CDL licenses.

Customers who need to reinstate their license or upgrade from a Class D to a Class C license should utilize DDS Online Services at www.dds.georgia.gov.

Customers who are new to Georgia will not be served during the closure period and should continue using their credentials from their former state. A plan to reopen safety for these customers is being developed.

A-1 Driving School is proud to be certified to administer road tests so students can get their licenses with A-1 and avoid the lines and hassle at the Department of Driver Services.

There are some basic requirements to be able to take the road test with A-1 and they are:

If you are interested in taking your road test with A-1 or would like to schedule your road test and please call (770)962-9555!

You can also enroll and pay for your road test online at www.a1drivingschools.com!

Fort Gordon Soldier Charged With Violating Stay-At-Home Order

Photo: Google Images

A Fort Gordon soldier was arrested and accused of violating stay-at-home orders, fleeing from state troopers and driving drunk while attempting to visit his family in Alabama, authorities said.

Christian Lee Robinson, 20, was arrested Saturday and charged with reckless conduct for violating a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Robinson also was charged with DUI, obstruction of officers, possession of alcohol by a minor, fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

A Georgia State Patrol trooper saw Robinson swerving and driving more than 120 mph on Interstate 85 and attempted to pull him over.

Robinson refused to stop, so the trooper used a pursuit maneuver to disable Robinson’s vehicle. Robinson’s car spun out and hit a median wall which ended with him being hospitalized before he was taken to the Coweta jail.

Robinson told authorities he was a soldier and was absent without leave from Fort Gordon, Tarpley said. Robinson also told authorities he was trying to visit family in Alabama.

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 a 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!

13 Drive-Thru Locations For Coronavirus Testing

Cases of the new coronavirus in Georgia continued to climb.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Photo: georgiarecorder.com

Georgia has opened at least 13 drive-thru locations for coronavirus testing and plans more.

Kemp says priority for tests is being given to those at highest risk — the elderly, people who already have chronic illnesses, those in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and first responders such as paramedics. 

“To be tested at one of these locations, you must have a referral from a medical provider,” Kemp said. “Tests are limited to elderly Georgians, members of the law enforcement community, first responders, long-term care facility residents and staff as well as health care workers. We must protect those who are protecting us and that is why we have these testing sites in strategic locations around the state.”

Testing sites around the state will be located in Cartersville, Rome, Dalton, Woodstock, Gainesville, Marietta, Atlanta, Morrow, Newnan, Dublin, Warner Robbins, Augusta, Columbus, Valdosta, Tifton, Albany, Douglas, Statesboro, Brunswick, Savannah and Athens.

We hope everyone is social distancing and staying safe, but if you must travel for essential needs A-1 wants you to practice good defensive driving skills.

Defensive drivers are able to avoid dangers on the road by using their safe driving practices.

Tips for defensive driving:

  • Plan ahead for the unexpected.
  • Be able to control speed
  • Be Prepared to react to other drivers
  • Do not expect the other driver to do what you think he or she should do
  • Respect other users of the roadway.
  • Be aware of driving in special road and weather conditions
  • Be alert and avoid distratcions, e.g., cell phone use, eating.

Take Your Class, Virtually!

Because of COVID-19, all A-1 Driving School classes have been approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services to be offered virtually.

Register exactly as you would if you were attending class. Days and times will stay the same.

A Man Was Allegedly Teaching His Dog to Drive

Photo: wfsb.com

A man was arrested after leading troopers on a high-speed chase with his dog sitting in the driver’s seat, a spokeswoman for the Washington State Patrol said.

The man from Lakewood, Washington, hit two cars on separate occasions and failed to stop both times, leading state troopers on a high-speed chase up Interstate 5, the spokeswoman said. No major injuries were reported in either crash.
“He was driving very erratically. So erratically that multiple people called 911,” trooper Heather Axtman told CNN.
The suspect was driving “absolutely recklessly,” and a pursuit ensued at 109 miles an hour, she said. One of the troopers attempted to corner the suspect’s car, looked inside and realized a pit bull was sitting in the driver’s seat while the suspect steered, Axtman said.
As he was trying to evade troopers, the suspect drove onto Centennial Trail, a trail for pedestrians and bicyclists in Snohomish County known for being busy, according to Axtman.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.

Driving practices and rules that are taught in A-1’s Defensive Driving Class can be applied to be a safe driver. There is a lot of very useful and informative information in the class and it will apply whether you have been driving for years or you are a brand new driver.

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!