The Marietta Police, along with the Georgia State Patrol and Cobb County Police Department, used an unusual method of catching distracted drivers last month. Three officers posing as utility workers stood at Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road, the intersection near the Big Chicken, to watch for drivers violating the hands-free law or failing to wear a seat belt. When the disguised officers spotted violators, they would radio vehicle descriptions to officers waiting nearby to pull over the offenders. Georgia state patrol issued 29 citations, and Cobb and Marietta police issued 141 citations and made three arrests – two stemming from driver's license issues and one for a driver who was wanted for a previous crime.
As a Cobb County DUI Lawyer, I know that when a cop sees a driver violating the Hands-Free Law, they then have probable cause to pull the car over – in some cases, this has led to the discovery of a driver under the influence. In today's post, I'll be explaining the Hands-Free Law.
Hands-Free Law in Cobb County
Under Georgia Law, a driver is prohibited from using their hands or any other body part to hold any type of mobile device. Drivers may not write, send, or read any text, emails, or instant messages, browse the web or use any smartphone apps, watch or record a video, or watch a movie unrelated to GPS navigation.
Drivers may, however, receive and make calls using Bluetooth or similar hands-free technology. There are also exceptions to the law when a driver reports a medical emergency or traffic accident.
What some people don't realize is that the Hands-Free Law is still in effect when you are stopped – this includes briefly stopping on the side of the road, red lights, stop signs, or traffic jams. Even if you are not moving, the law still applies until your car is parked in a legal parking zone.
For a first-time hands-free violation, you will be fined $50 a receive one point on your driver's license. For a second offense, you will receive a $100 fine and two points on your license. For third and subsequent offenses, you will receive a fine of $150 and three points to your driver's license. Under Georgia law, if a driver over the age of 21 accrues 15 points or more in two years, their license will be suspended for six months. Drivers younger than 21 who receive four points will have their license being suspended.
As a Cobb County DUI Attorney, I know that using your cell phone while driving is never a good idea. But if you have been issued a citation for violating the Hands-Free Law in Cobb County, your case is not hopeless. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, our team of highly competent lawyers is here to speak with you about your case. Call us today.