Nickelodeon Star Arrested for DUI Over the Weekend

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

This past weekend in Hollywood, CA Nickelodeon star Ryan Rottman was arrested by LAPD for driving under the influence of alcohol ( DUI ).  Rottman was reportedly hanging out in a bar with celebrity pals Zac Efron and Rumer Willis.  He left the bar and allegedly drove up on a curb.  This driving was observed by law enforcement officers patrolling the area.  Rottman was stopped and eventually submitted to a breathalyzer in which he blew a .19, which was over twice the legal limit.

Just as in California, in Cobb County, GA, the legal blood alcohol limit is a .08.  There are two general ways in which Cobb County prosecuting attorneys charge offenders with DUI.  Drivers can be charged as DUI - less safe and as DUI - per se.  A DUI - per se would be the primary charge against Mr. Rottman if he had been arrested by Cobb County law enforcement.  A per se DUI offense means that you are considered a drunk driver under the law if you take a  breath or blood test and the results are over a .08 for a person over the age of 21. (Rottman is 26.)  If the driver is under the age of 21, the legal per se DUI limit is a .02.  For a driver with a CDL operating a commercial vehicle, the standard is a .04.  A per se DUI case is not hopeless however.  These cases are reduced and won in many instances by skilled Cobb County DUI lawyers.  Breath testing is an unreliable science and the machines may not have been working properly.  The officer may not be an authorized operator.  A good Cobb DUI attorney will file motions pointing out a lack of suspicion and probable cause to stop the vehicle in the first place and then to make the arrest.  There are many arguments to supress or cast doubt about the results of a chemical test.

But what if the driver refused to take a blood or breath test?  Is that the smarter policy for a Georgia driver?  At first glance, it seems that it is.  If there is no chemical test, the Cobb County prosecutor cannot charge a driver with DUI - per se.  They have to rely on the offense of DUI - less safe.  This is a stringent burden on the Cobb solicitors.  They have to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was a less safe driver due to intoxication.  The Cobb County prosecuting attorney will usually seek to admit evidence of poor driving as observed by the officer and poor performance on field sobriety evaluations to prove that the driver was drunk.  However, there are often very good defenses to these challenges.  Sometimes, after reviewing video footage of the stop and arrest, it becomes apparent that the driver looks fine ---certainly not drunk!   DUI lawyers at the Cobb County law office of Richard Lawson have had much success in challenging and  winning DUI cases of this nature at trial. 

The drawback to refusing the breath test when asked to submit to it upon your DUI arrest by the Cobb County police officer is the issues of implied consent.  In Georgia, by virtue of having a Georgia drivers license, you have agreed to submit to a breath test should a law enforcement officer ask you to submit to one and advise you of your implied consent notice.  This says that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test of the officers choice, you will lose your Georgia drivers license for one year.  A "refusal" suspension is a hard suspension and there are no temporary or limited permits available.  However, a Cobb County DUI attorney can help you negotiate an agreement with the arresting officer in many instances to keep your license.  In the Cobb County area, driving is important to many residents and saving their right to drive is a primary concern following a DUI arrest when your license is taken. 

Within thirty days of your DUI arrest, your DUI lawyer can file an appeal to the Department of Driver Services appealing the suspension of your drivers license.  This will set you for an administrative license suspension ( ALS ) hearing.  You will be allowed to drive until the time of the hearing so long as your appeal letter was timely.  At the hearing, you negotiate with the officer or having a hearing before the Judge to save your driving privileges.  Speak with a Cobb County DUI lawyer as soon as possible following your DUI arrest to initiate this appeal process. 

In addition to DUI - less safe and DUI - per se charges, you can also be charged with DUI - child endangerment.  This is the equivalent of two or more DUI charges.  DUI - child endangerment occurs when you are arrested for DUI and have a minor child in the car.  For each child in the car, you get charged with an additional DUI count.  So if you have 2 young children in the car, you are facing treatment as having 3 independent DUI offenses.  If it is technically your first offense, and you are convicted, you will be sentenced as if it were your third DUI.  This can quickly lead to habitual violator treatment and long jail sentences and license suspension terms.  It can also lead to felony treatment.  Typically, a first or second DUI in Cobb County, GA is charged as a misdemeanor.  If you have a  history of DUI or other related offenses, or if your DUI charge includes serious accident or injuries, you may face felony charges.  It is absolutely essential you  contact our DUI lawyers right away if your DUI resulted in a serious accident.

Many people feel scared and overwhelmed when they are first charged with a DUI.  A few hours in the Cobb County jail can be a harrowing experience.  DUI is often the first (and only) time a person is ever in trouble in their life outside a speeding ticket here and there.  Unfortunately, DUI is treated very harshly under Georgia law and requires mandatory jail time, fines, and probation requirements.  It is not something to take lightly.  The good news is that an experienced Cobb County DUI lawyer can help.  Our lawyers have years of experience getting clients the best possible outcomes for their DUI cases.  We also can help with a variety of  Georgia drivers license suspension issues and probation problems including  violations of probation and probation warrants.  

Richard S. Lawson is a former DUI prosecuting attorney who devotes his practice to defending DUI drivers.  He has extensive knowledge of field sobriety testing and the science behind chemical tests.  Mr. Lawson and his associates are trial lawyers who contest cases on a regular basis.  We work out terrific plea bargains, but we also file motions and try cases before juries.  Call Mr. Lawson for a free legal consultation and to discuss the strategy that will be right for your case and your needs.  A DUI conviction stays on your record forever.  You owe it to yourself to get the best possible results.   Call our Cobb County office as soon as possible after your DUI arrest to preserve evidence and protect your rights and your GA drivers license. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard S. Lawson is passionate about intoxicated driving defense. Unlike some attorneys, Mr. Lawson devotes 100% of his legal practice to helping people stand up for their rights against DUI charges. For more than 20 years, Mr. Lawson has dutifully fought for his clients' freedom, resolving more 4,900 impaired driving cases during the course of his career. Today, Mr. Lawson has developed a reputation as a skilled negotiator and continues to help clients by fighting to keep them out of jail.


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