A sheriff's deputy from Liberty County was taken to the hospital after his patrol vehicle was rear-ended on the morning of Sunday, May 19, 2019.
According to law enforcement, the accident occurred on East Oglethorpe Highway just after 5:30 a.m. Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes was in the middle of a traffic stop near Liberty County High School. While Sikes was writing the ticket, K-9 officer Jack Baker pulled up behind Sikes on the side of the road to assist him.
Baker was using his radar when he was suddenly struck from behind by another driver. The force of the impact pushed the car forward between 60 to 70 feet. The driver was allegedly traveling at around 90 miles per hour.
The other car was driven by Ryan Duke, who was suspected of driving while under the influence. Baker was taken to the hospital for neck and back injuries. Duke's police dog was in the law enforcement vehicle at the time as well but was not hurt.
If you face charges for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, you need an experienced Forsyth County DUI attorney to defend your case and protect your rights.
First Time DUI Charges in Forsyth County, GA
Even first-time charges of DUI in Georgia can lead to serious penalties. It is important to understand the potential penalties you face, and what defenses you can raise in order to protect your constitutional rights.
A person can serve any of the following potential penalties after a conviction for a first time DUI:
- 24 hours up to a maximum of 1 year in jail;
- a fine of up to a maximum of $1,000;
- loss of your right to drive through a driver's license suspension of up to 1 year; and
- requirement a minimum of 40 community service hours.
Each case is judged on its unique facts and circumstances. The actual penalty you will face depends on your case and the defense you raise.
Defending Your DUI Case
Just because you are charged with a crime, does not mean that you are guilty. Often, Georgia prosecutors attempt to convince you that there is no hope, and you should simply plead guilty. This is a mistake, as police make mistakes, and false positives are common in DUI tests.
Common defenses to a Georgia DUI charge include:
- the initial traffic stop was unconstitutional;
- the breathalyzer test was inaccurate or improperly calibrated;
- the field sobriety tests were not properly administered;
- a roadside checkpoint did not meet constitutional requirements;
- the officer was not qualified to assess intoxication;
- you were not intoxicated while driving; or
- an unconstitutional search was performed of your person or your vehicle.
A defense can lead to a reduction in charges or even a dismissal. Having an attorney by your side to negotiate with the prosecutor and fight your charges can greatly help your case.