Anthony Michael Rule, age 29, was almost struck by a vehicle in downtown Rome, Georgia on October 21, 2018. The near accident occurred at the intersection of Broad Street and Second Avenue around 6:40 p.m. that day.
When police made contact with Rule, he was unable to stand and could not provide law enforcement with his address. He was searched, and police found what was suspected to be synthetic marijuana in his front left pocket and right watch pocket. He is now charged with felony possession of synthetic marijuana and a misdemeanor count of pedestrian under the influence.
If you or someone you care for has been charged with pedestrian under the influence in Georgia, an experienced Cherokee County DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your rights.
Pedestrian Under the Influence
A person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be charged as a pedestrian under the influence, and face criminal penalties. The law is written in O.C.G.A. 40-6-95 and states:
A person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug to a degree which renders him a hazard shall not walk or be upon any roadway or the shoulder of any roadway. Violation of this Code section is a misdemeanor and is punishable upon conviction by a fine not to exceed $500.00.
Renders Him a Hazard
Just being intoxicated and on a roadway or shoulder is not enough to be charged with pedestrian under the influence. The officer must have a reasonable belief that you are intoxicated to the point where you render a hazard to yourself or others. Officers will look for signs of intoxication such as
- inability to walk or stand;
- unsteady walk;
- slurred speech;
- aggressive, rude, or lewd behavior; and
- smell of alcohol or drugs.
Penalties for Pedestrian Under the Influence
A person who is charged with and convicted of a charge of pedestrian under the influence faces a maximum possible fine of $500.00. This may not seem so severe, at least compared to the penalties for a Georgia DUI, but it is more than the fine that can affect your life.
Those convicted of the offense can be placed on probation in order to pay the fine. Failure to pay the fine may result in further criminal action in some cases.
Most importantly, however, is the impact on your criminal record. A misdemeanor will now be on your record, and this may affect your ability to gain or maintain employment, especially if your job requires special certifications or background checks. With the help of an experienced defense attorney, you can fight to keep this charge off of your record.
Consult a Cherokee County DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a pedestrian under the influence offense, you must act quickly to protect your constitutional rights. There are defenses which can be raised to prevent unnecessary punishment. Remember, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean that you are guilty.