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Watch Your Speed on Interstate 85 in Northeast Georgia

Posted by Sean A. Black | Jun 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

In the Northeast Georgia counties of Hart, Franklin and Banks, there is very aggressive enforcement of the traffic laws.  Interstate 85 is the corridor from Atlanta to Charlotte and beyond.  Because of this, there is a large number of travelers along this stretch of highway.

Troop B of the Georgia State Patrol covers all of Northeast Georgia.  However, they have multiple posts.  They recently added Post 52 in Hartwell.  The Post building is located approximately a mile from the first Georgia exit on Interstate 85 from the South Carolina state line.

That post is responsible for Hart, Franklin and Elbert Counties.  In that regard, they are enforcing the speeding and other traffic laws in those counties, particularly in Hart and Franklin Counties on the Interstate.  

Post 6 (Gainesville) patrols in Banks County.  

Each of the first three counties in Georgia along Interstate 85 are also patrolled by their county sheriff's offices.  Banks County Sheriff's Office, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, and Hart County Sheriff's Office are all regular presences on this interstate.  

The most common citations that we are seeing are:

  • Speeding:
    • Going 85 or more along this stretch can earn you a Super Speeder fee (tax) on top of any court fees.  This is $200 and can cause a license suspension if it is not paid.
    • Out of state license holders can face serious consequences at home for excessive speeding in Georgia.  What happens in Georgia does not stay in Georgia
    • Speeds in excess of 90 mph can face greatly enhanced fines
    • Some courts will require you to complete defensive driving school
  • Move Over Law Violations
    • Most states have "move over" laws now.  If there is a law enforcement or emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its emergency lights active, you must move over one lane away.  If it is impossible to move over because of other vehicles, then you must drastically slow your speed.
    • Ignorance of the law will not be accepted as an excuse
  • Driving While License Suspended / Driving Unlicensed
    • Many routine traffic stops escalate because the driver has a suspension that has not been dealt with or has no license
    • Georgia has put driving with no license on the same tier with suspended licensing meaning major consequences for an unlicensed driver who cannot get a license before court.
    • Dealing with these charges often means working through the underlying reason for the suspension (traffic offenses, insurance issues, DUI's, child support non-payment, etc.)
  • Commercial Motor Vehicle Law Violations
    • There is a weigh station in Franklin County
    • Some commercial drivers will attempt to drive past this station.  This is not a good idea.  You will be pursued and will be ticketed
    • This station will write tickets for violations
  • DUI and Drug Offenses
    • Officers in this area are familiar with the odor of marijuana.  Georgia courts have ruled that an officer smelling marijuana has probable cause to search the vehicle.  This can lead to DUI and drug charges
    • Many officers in this area are ARIDE trained and we are starting to see DRE officers.  This means they will often ask about medication use.  Answering these questions may lead to DUI - Drug charges
    • These are highly traveled roads.  Unusual driving is likely to be called in by other drivers.  
    • Drug possession and trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia can have serious consequences.
  • Insurance Violations
    • Although insurance information is often checked by computer, you are still required to have proof of insurance in your vehicle.
    • This can be a serious charge which can have large fines and can lead to license suspensions.

If you are ticketed or arrested anywhere along the Northeast Georgia I-85 corridor, in Hart County, Franklin County or Stephens County, you need experienced representation.  Sean Black of Black Law Offices, LLC, is the help that you need to work through these problems.

About the Author

Sean A. Black

Sean A. Black is a 1992 graduate of the Emory University School of Law. He has been in private practice in Toccoa, Georgia since June 1, 1992.

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