What is Defensive Driving? And why should YOU take a Defensive Driving course?

Defensive driving is all about making you a safer driver on the road. In the class, you’ll learn about crash statistics, DUIs, what happens when you crash, safety equipment and crash prevention. They also cover things like why you shouldn’t drive when you’re fatigued, stressed or angry. Most likely, they will cover traffic laws for your state as well.

Now, not only does taking a defensive driving course make you a better driver, it also can lower your insurance up to 10% for 3 years. That’s no laughing matter folks! This is especially great for those teenagers ready to get on the road and whose insurance premiums are extravagant. Another great reason to attend a class is to reduce points on your license.

Just make sure to pick the right school. The right school will be certified to teach defensive driving. We recommend thoroughly researching schools before spending your money. Find one that’s certified and has good reviews.

Ignition Interlock Device: With Freedom Comes Responsibility

by Monica Ruechel

Back in June, I wrote a piece covering the new ignition interlock device laws in Georgia (you can read that here). In summary, first time DUI offenders can now opt for an ignition interlock limited permit. This means that first time DUI offenders can obtain a limited permit as opposed to getting their driver's license suspended IF they install an ignition interlock device on their car. The length of time depends on the offender's cooperation with the chemical tests. This is great because it allows first time DUI offenders to keep driving privileges as opposed to the previous laws  mandatory suspension! (For more information on the new ignition interlock device laws, read HB 250.)

ignition interlock deviceWhen I wrote that piece, I could only see the benefits of the new law. I mean, ignition interlock devices only help save lives. They literally prevent people from driving under the influence. Unfortunately, anything that distracts people while they're driving can be harmful. The way the ignition interlock device works is quite simple: you give a breath sample, and if any amount of alcohol higher than the legal limit is detected on the breath, the vehicle won't start. When the vehicle is moving, the device will require random breath samples (aka "rolling samples") to ensure that the driver is not under the influence. It will signal the driver to stop if they blow above the legal limit (for more information on the ignition interlock device, click here).

Ideally, the driver will pull over to give the rolling sample, but this is not always the case. This means that the driver's attention is divided between the device and the road. This can have fatal consequences, as it did in the case of 18-year-old Alexis Butler. 

ignition interlock device

18-year-old Alexis Butler was killed by a driver distracted by an ignition interlock device (Source: Facebook)

Butler was backing her car out of her driveway when a 31-year-old unidentified driver plowed into her car, killing her. The driver of the other car never tried to slow down, as he was distracted by his ignition interlock device. He was attempting to give a rolling sample and was not paying attention to the road, endangering his own life and taking Butler's.

I'm sharing this story with you to stress the importance of being responsible with your ignition interlock device. Yes, the device gave you freedom after your DUI charge, and that's great. However, it's still a HUGE responsibility, as it has the potential to distract you from driving. If you opt for the ignition interlock limited permit, that's great! Just make sure to pull over for your rolling samples and avoid playing with the ignition interlock device while you're driving. Enjoy your freedom, but stay safe while you do it.

 

For the full news story mentioned above, click here.

Drunk People Do The Darndest Things…

Here's a few mini drunk stories to brighten up your day and one to sober up your day. As far as I know, none of these first three stories resulted in a DUI but that doesn't mean they couldn't have!

In Loganville, Ga, a couple was arrested outside of a Waffle House for public intoxication and for getting busy (SHOCKER!) inside their parked car. The woman was so drunk she tried to put a cheeseburger on her foot as a shoe.

drunk alligator

A new study shows that alligators are in fact VERY dangerous even if you are VERY DRUNK. If only this study had been completed before one Australia man decided to party with an alligator while drunk... (Source: Me.me)

In Australia, there was a man who, after getting kicked out of the pub, decided to go to the zoo. Once there, he felt compelled to ride one of the alligators. This man jumped into the enclosure and attempted to ride one. Unfortunately for him, the gator wasn’t too happy about it and took out a large hunk of his leg.

In Florida, one man went on a rampage in a WalMart on one of their motorized scooters. He stole a beer and drank it while driving around the store, knocking items off the shelves on purpose. If only that were on film…

Luckily, none of these people were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. It’s easy to see with these short stories above how alcohol can affect your impairment. I certainly would be embarrassed if I were so drunk I thought wearing a hamburger on my foot constituted as footwear. We all make mistakes, however, and many people who are intoxicated get behind the wheel and drive, sometimes resulting in a DUI and sometimes resulting in even worse like an accident or death. Not only are you putting yourself in danger but also the people around you.

I'd like to end on this note. Here's a story of a woman who got behind the wheel and ended up with a DUI and a smashed up car. Thankfully no one was injured. Josette Young, a Kansas City police officer, was arrested and charged with a DUI while driving her unmarked police car. (OMG) Witnesses say they say Young cross over the median, skid through the lanes going in the opposite direction and crash to a stop on the shoulder. When police arrived, they tried to perform a field sobriety test on Young; she reportedly closed her eyes and refused to follow officer’s commands. She also refused to answer when asked if she understood her Miranda rights.

DUIs are a serious thing but we promise that if you’re court-ordered to take a DUI course, we’ll take good care of you and we may even have some fun along the way. So call us today or click here  to set up your course at 1 ACT Driving Schools.

5 Effective Ways To Teach Your Teen Drivers To Drive Safely

by Jackie Edwards

If you’re a parent and your teen is turning 16, you know that sooner or later, you’ll have to teach your child to drive. According to data,

Photo by Andrew Worley

most parents in the US spend 40 hours or more supervising their child as they practice their driving skills in preparation for getting a license. While most parents teach their children the basics such as parking, making turns, and merging into traffic, it’s also important to teach teens how to drive safely. In a research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. To protect your child against car crashes, there are certain things that he needs to know before he goes on the road. Here are 5 ways to teach your teen to drive safely.

Start slow

It may be convenient to teach your child how to pull out of the driveway and just drive on his very first day of practice driving, but it’s better to let him start slow. With your teen riding shotgun, head to an empty parking lot, then switch places. Teach your child how to adjust his mirrors, start, stop, and turn. You should also remind him to place his hands at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position on the wheel and to relax his arms while driving. Once he masters these skills, you can head out to a spacious area with fewer cars before moving on to streets with heavy traffic.

Allow your teen to master certain routes

One of the best ways to teach your teen to drive safely and confidently is to let him master certain routes. If he’s using the car to get to school and work, then let him master those routes. Having a built-in instinct while he’s behind the wheel lessens the risks of getting into serious accidents. You may also want to teach your teen to master an alternate route in case of an emergency.

Remind your child to stay focused

Staying focused means keeping his smartphone out of reach and not doing anything else while he’s behind the wheel. This means no texting, answering phone calls, or taking selfies while he’s driving. Remind your child to turn off his phone and keep it in the glove compartment for the duration of his trip.  

Practice at different times and in all types of weather

To keep your teen safe, have him practice at different times and in all types of weather. Night time driving requires more focus and presence of mind than daytime driving, so allow your child to practice during the evening and even late at night during the weekends. If your teen’s skill has improved, let him practice driving in the rain and snow.

Teach your child what to do in case of scary driving situations

Oftentimes, first-time drivers panic when faced with scary driving situations, and this leads to accidents and car crashes. Remind your child to stay calm and have a plan of action in case he gets into any frightening situations while he’s on the road. For instance, if someone is tailgating him, the best thing to do is to pull over and let the other driver pass. During a yellow light, remind your teen to use his best judgment before taking a course of action. And if he ever feels like he’s being followed, tell your teen to head to a highly populated area, stop, and make a phone call to the police.

Children grow up fast, and while we can’t stop them from exploring the world, we can keep them safe while they’re on the road. Follow these tips to teach your teen to drive safely and instill good driving habits that he’ll use for years to come.

This post was derived from a longer piece co-written by the author of this post, Jackie Edwards. For the original post, click here.

About the Author:

Now working as a writer, Jackie Edwards started her career in finance and banking, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she's not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after.

Note: If your teen in Georgia wants to get their driver's license at the age of 16, they will need to complete the Joshua's law requirements of the 30 hour driver's education class and 6 hours of behind the wheel driving lessons with a certified driving school. For more information on driving lessons or teen driving packages with 1 ACT Driving Schools, click the links below.

Driving Lessons
Teen Driving Lessons/Driver's Education
Scheduling Driving Lessons

 

Top 10 FUNNIEST DUI Stories

By Monica Ruechel

As we all know, DUI charges are NO laughing matter--however, occasionally the news reports a very funny DUI story. I know we all get tired of hearing about the depressing DUI accident stories, so I decided to look around for some of the more entertaining stories (where no one gets hurt, of course!) I decided to look up some funny DUI stories for my own entertainment, and compiled a list of my favorites to share with you. Here are the TOP 10 funniest DUI stories, as told by 1 ACT Driving Schools.

#10: Combine-ation of unfortunate events

Farm combine. Source: WCPO Cincinatti

Have you ever seen those GIANT machines farmers use to harvest their crops? They're called combines, and look like the machine in the picture to the right. A man in Pennsylvania decided to drive a combine while intoxicated, hit a mailbox, and got arrested by police after he passed out in a bean field. He faced charges of driving under the influence and hit and run.

#9: Landscaping the road while drunk

For some reason, men seem to enjoy riding large farming/lawn equipment while under the influence. A Minnesota man received his NINTH driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge while driving his lawnmower with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.28. He already lost his license to one of his DWI charges, so he figured he would be fine using his lawnmower as his primary mode of transportation. He faced charges of DWI and driving without a license. Fair warning: if you don't have a driver's license, you should probably avoid driving ANYTHING.

Source: TwinCities.com

#8: Scooting down the interstate

Motorized Walmart scooter. Source: USA Today

Again with men driving things that are not cars while drunk! Police pulled a man over in Indiana on Indiana's state road 135 for a few reasons: 1.) driving on the wrong side of the road (heading north in the south bound lanes) and 2.) driving a motorized scooter. You read that right-this man stole one of those motorized scooters you find at Walmart and drove it while drunk on the wrong side of the road! Police didn't question it until they noticed the "in-store use only" sign on the back of the scooter. They pulled the man over and arrested him for driving under the influence and theft. Don't worry--police returned the scooter to Walmart after the arrest.

 

 

#7: La-Z-iest DUI

Souped up La-Z-Boy Chair. Source: TMZ

Talk about lazy--a Minnesota man received a DUI for driving his motorized La-Z-Boy chair to and from a local bar. First of all, let's take a second to appreciate the fact that he has a motorized La-Z-Boy. I mean, the thing is CRAZY--it has a lawnmower engine (again with the lawnmowers!) a cup holder, a radio, a headlight, an actual La-Z-Boy chair, and naturally, a National Hot Rod Association sticker. Second of all, the man got a DUI for driving the chair! Police pulled the man over after he drunkenly crashed his chair-car into an actual car. They promptly escorted him to jail and charged him with driving under the influence.

#6: "Bring Your Barstool to Drink" Day

Motorized barstool. Source: CNN

Typically when you go to a bar, you go to the bar, sit on the barstools in the bar, then make your way back home. A man in Ohio inserted a barstool into all THREE of those steps as opposed to just the second step. He drove his motorized barstool to the bar, used it there, and drove the barstool home from the bar. The vehicle had a lawnmower engine and steering wheel,  four wheels, and of course, a barstool welded to a metal frame. While attempting a U-turn on the way home from the bar, he crashed the stool, drawing police attention. Needless to say, police arrested the man and charged him with DUI. Even though the man admitted to driving after drinking 15 beers, he plead not guilty and is headed to trial. Let's hope he leaves the barstool at home that day!

Motorized cooler (aka "esky"). Source: The Telegraph

 

#5: DOI: Driving ON the influence of alcohol

Apparently, Australia has these motorized coolers called "eskies." They take a typical drink cooler and add a set of handlebars, wheels, and a motor, creating a convenience mode of drink transportation. Of course, genius inventions don't always work as planned. A man in Perth, Australia, decided to drive his esky at night. This drew police attention, as the coolers don't have proper lighting and are unsafe to drive at night. On top of that, he was driving in a bike-lane, the place you should NEVER drive a motorized vehicle. When police pulled him over, they found that the cooler was filled with beer, wine, and bourbon drinks, leading to him receiving a DUI charge. We all know you can drive UNDER the influence, but who knew you could drive ON TOP of the influence?

#4: Drunk Lives Matter

"Drunk Lives Matter" shirt in mugshot. Source: FOX News

Before you accuse me of trivializing social movements, the only reason I use this phrase is because of the story. A man in Pennsylvania got a DUI charge while wearing a shirt that said "Drunk Lives Matter."  Police pulled him over for multiple traffic violations, suspected that he was under the influence, and transported him to the hospital and arrested him for driving under the influence. His blood alcohol concentration was 0.217! It's quite ironic that he chose to wear that shirt on the day he chose to put his own drunk life in danger.

#3: The breathalyzer gets breathalyzed

Nebraska teen arrested for DUI wearing breathalyzer costume. Source: DailyMail

Halloween: the only holiday that notoriously involves costumes and alcohol. One Halloween, a teenager was pulled over for driving erratically. Police immediately knew the teen was drunk, and took him into custody. Upon searching the vehicle, they found open containers of alcohol in the truck as well. Of course, they made sure to include in the report not only that the teen blew more than twice the 0.08 legal limit on the breathalyzer, but that he was also dressed as a breathalyzer. Yes, this young man dressed up as a breathalyzer for Halloween and received a charge of driving under the influence.  I wonder if he dressed up as an ignition interlock the day he got the device installed in his car!

#2: Come on Barbie, let's go party!

A man in Essex, England was pulled over for driving one of those motorize pink Barbie cars designed for 3-5 year olds while drunk. He and his son put bigger wheels on the car, so of course he had to take it for a spin! Unfortunately, his blood contained more than twice the legal limit of alcohol, and he was arrested for driving under the influence. He later admitted to being a "complete twit" for cramming his adult body into a child's car and driving it. He lost his driver's license for 3 years (the one for driving actual cars and the one for driving toy cars) and was sentenced to 12 months of probation. I guess he took Barbie's inviting "Barbie Girl" song quite literally and decided to take her car out for a party!

Source: The Telegraph

#1: A man, a pug, and a horse went to a wedding...

Man arrested for riding horse while drunk. His pug can be seen to the left. Source: Daily Camera

That sounds like the start of a really bad joke. Unfortunately for you, it's not a joke! A Colorado man was headed to a family wedding in  Utah. While passing through Boulder, Colorado, the man arrested for riding his horse while drunk. Witnesses told police they saw the man hit the horse (he claimed he was swatting flies away). When police went to investigate, they found the man slumped on the horse's back. He dismounted and failed his field sobriety tests. Police checked the saddle bags to find beer bottles, and checked the man's backpack to find a pug! The man was arrested and taken into custody, but was able to make it to the wedding with his horse and dog in tow.

 

So there it is--the 1 ACT Driving Schools list of the top 10 funny DUI stories for your personal entertainment. Of course, you should remember that DUIs typically are not funny and we should encourage our loved ones to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol, as that can result in serious consequences.

If you or a loved one has received a DUI, please click here for information on attending your DUI class with the DUI school that's here to keep you entertained! If you have not received a DUI charge, please make sure to avoid driving under the influence at all costs. Call a cab, request an Uber, find a designated driver, do anything other than driving while intoxicated. Also, remember to avoid riding horses or driving any random object with a motor, because police will pull you over and you could end up on someone else's list of the top 10 funniest DUI stories!

Chick-fil-A Manager Loses Life in DUI Accident

by Monica Ruechel

Once again, I am here to write about a recent DUI accident near the Atlanta area. Unfortunately, this one is less entertaining than our bus driver DUI post from last week. This week, I’m writing about the worst outcome of driving under the influence.

31-year-old Chick-fil-A manager, Chase Chapman, drove to work last Saturday morning and a man driving under the influence T-boned Chapman at an intersection. The police arrested the man immediately, but unfortunately, this does not undo the damage done to Chase’s life. Chase died during the accident.

Chase’s father, Carl E. Chapman, is no stranger to losing someone to a drink driver. He lost his mother to a drunk driver in 1984 in what he said was “almost the exact same kind of incident” (qtd. in O’Brien). He started a GoFundMe to raise money for his grandson (Chase’s son), and has currently raised over $27,000. Oh yeah—Chase had a 6-year-old son. This sweet, six year old boy lost his father in one of the worst ways possible.  According to Chapman, Chase’s Howell Mill Chick-fil-A family sincerely misses Chase, as do their regular customers. Chase provided a light in the lives of many, and the world will not be as bright of a place without him.

Important Note:

 This Friday kicks off Labor Day weekend. We know this weekend will be filled with cookouts, parties, family, and plenty of alcohol. Everyone here at 1 ACT Driving Schools asks you to be aware of your state when you leave your festivities and do not drive under the influence. You may have a fun day and not have a care in the world, but your decisions could take a life this weekend. Pick a designated driver, call an Uber, or simply don’t drink. Whatever you do, please make the decision to drive sober, and safely enjoy your holiday weekend. We wish you a safe Labor Day weekend, and hope you remain aware of your decisions throughout the holiday festivities.

 

For original source, click here.

School Bus Driver Charged with DUI While Working

By Monica Ruechel

As a DUI school, we always try and keep up with the newsworthy DUI stories in our area. Recently, a story crossed our paths that not only made the local news, but made the NATIONAL news as well!

This story is so big, it’s the size of a school bus. Actually, it involves a school bus. On Monday, police pulled over a school bus driver in Walton County near Loganville Middle School for driving erratically. The police removed her from the school bus and administered the field sobriety test, which she failed immediately and went straight to the Walton County Jail. During her booking, they recovered half of a bottle of tequila, four mini bottles of vodka, and four bottles of prescription pills in her purse. She posted her $25,762 bail only a few hours later, and left the jail. She Walton County School District fired her immediately afterwards.

The city is charging her with a DUI (obviously) as well as 16 counts of child endangerment. 31 children were present on bus, but only 16 of them were under the age of 14. The bus driver has no priors, but was fired from the Gwinnett County school district just months before for “unsatisfactory performance” on the job.

Not only did she lose her job, she will have to pay a RIDICULOUS amount of money. Since this is her first DUI, under the new ignition interlock laws, she will need an ignition interlock device installed in her car. This constitutes a $100 installation and removal fee as well as monthly calibration/maintenance fees. She will pay $25 to the Georgia Department of Driver Services to have her license reinstated. A decent lawyer will require a $3000 retainer fee. She will have court fines. She will be required to take the $355 risk reduction class, offered at 1 ACT Driving Schools.  Her required clinical evaluation will cost at least $110. Don't forget the bail money that she posted!

This woman definitely ruined her career as a bus driver, and her finances. The moral of the story is simple: don’t drink and drive, ESPECIALLY not when you’re driving a school bus with 31 children as your passengers.

 

For the original story, click here.

Steps to Take After a DUI Charge In Georgia

By Frank Acotella, Esq.

Drunk driving is a serious matter in the State of Georgia. If you are convicted of a DUI charge then you could face a long list of consequences and penalties.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety outlines some of the standard consequences associated with a DUI conviction in the State of Georgia which can include:

It is important that you understand how to deal with a DUI charge in order to minimize the consequences and refrain from repeating the same mistakes and getting in more trouble. Let's discuss the steps you should take if you have been charged with a DUI.

Consult With An Attorney

Navigating through a DUI charge is going to be difficult if you do so on your own. The laws are confusing and you may unknowingly do more harm to yourself than good. It is in your best interests to consult with a legal professional who understands Georgia's DUI laws. An attorney can help you understand the laws and help you prepare your case. You will probably still face a punishment for your actions, but the punishment may not be as harsh if you have an attorney on your side.

Show Up For Court

As any attorney will tell you, it is imperative that you show up to all court appearances. Your main goal in this situation is to minimize the consequences, both short and long-term, of being charged with a DUI. Therefore, you must keep in mind that if you miss a court appearance, you may be charged as guilty by default. If you are unable to keep your appointment with the court, call the court immediately and try to reschedule. Missing a court appointment tells the judge you don't care and that is not going to work in your favor.

Carry Out Your Sentence

You must abide by the judge's orders. You may be sentenced to jail or have to pay expensive fines. Another possible outcome is you could be required to perform so many hours of community service and then be on probation for a certain amount of time. Your sentence could be any combination of these. It depends on what the judge decides.

Take a DUI Risk Reduction Class

Along with your sentence, Georgia law mandates that any person charged with a DUI take a DUI risk reduction class. Therefore, you should register for a class as soon as possible. Such a program is designed to help an individual with drug and alcohol problems as well as helping them understand the risks associated with driving under the influence. If you have been charged with any of the following in Georgia, you will be required to take one of the following classes:

  • DUI
  • Drug and Alcohol Possession
  • Underage Drinking
  • Boating Under the Influence
  • Reckless Driving

In Georgia, the DUI risk reduction class is 20 hours and in some circumstances can be completed online. Costs vary depending on which company provides the class. Additional hours may be required depending on the number of DUI offenses you have. Reinstatement of your license depends on you being able to successfully complete this class. If you're working toward getting your license back, sign up for the class as soon as possible and complete it in a timely manner.

Do Not Take The Charge Lightly

Now that you know what comes with a DUI charge, do not take it lightly. From this point on, you should be determined to refrain from driving drunk. You know the problems it causes and the potential devastation that could come from it. Therefore, if you know you've had too much to drink, give the keys to someone else or take a taxi. No one's life is worth you driving drunk.

 

Frank Acocella Esq., leads the New York DUILegalNY.com defense team. Frank fights for the rights of drivers charged with DWI, DWAI and other intoxicated driving charges throughout the State of New York.

10 Most Annoying Driving Habits

By Monica Ruechel

 

Here in the great city of Atlanta, we LOVE to complain about how AWFUL everyone is at driving. Atlanta drivers don’t know how to drive, they drive too fast, they’re too reckless—the list goes on and on! Believe it or not ATLiens, EVERY city across the country likes to complain about how bad their drivers are. Each state has an entire list of awful habits their drivers have. I looked at at 25 different lists of terrible driving habits to develop my OWN list of the top 10 worst driving habits people have ranked in order from bad to worse. I’m sure many of you will be able to understand how annoying each of these habits are, but how many of you will be able to admit to doing them?

Enjoy!

 

  1. Hogging Middle Lane

This is exactly what it sounds like—this is when a driver gets in the middle lane of a highway and just stays there. So why is this an issue? Well, remember in your last defensive driving class where the instructor told you that the middle lane is the “sweet spot” for traveling on highways because that’s the lane for going the speed limit? That’s entirely true! But because you’re traveling in the middle lane going exactly the speed limit, you’re irritating drivers who want to go faster than the speed limit. This causes them to zigzag past you trying to rush to where they want to go. This increases the occurrences of tailgating and road rage. It’s so bad in England that they now have fines of the equivalent of $160 US dollars in place to prevent people from middle lane hogging! So yes, staying in the middle lane helps get you where you want to go in the quickest manner possible. However, it’s annoying to most drivers, who all enjoy traveling faster than the speed on those posted signs. Maybe the US needs to follow the example of the UK and put some fines in place to keep this under control!

 

  1. Parking Incorrectly

This is also exactly what it sounds like. This is when a driver seems to be unable to grasp the concept of parking, ranging from parking over two parking spaces to parking in a way that no one else can park around you. It doesn’t matter who you are, when you can’t park in a specific parking space because someone else is parked over it, it will drive you INSANE.

 

  1. Improper Merging

One thing that makes Atlanta highways notoriously awful is merging. The reason that merging is so terrible here is that no one cares that other drivers have to move, and no one knows how to do it! There are the drivers in the far-right lane that speed up when they see a car trying to merge, so drivers are unable to merge. Then, there are the drivers who have no grasp on the concept of merging. They’ll ride out the length of the merging lane and expect to glide right into the right lane. NEWS FLASH—you’re supposed to try and get into the right lane BEFORE your lane ends! If people just knew how to merge, then maybe merging in Atlanta wouldn’t be so terrible!

 

  1. Distracted Driving (Other than using your phone!)

When people think of “distracted driving,” their thoughts immediately jump to texting and driving. While this is an example of distracted driving, texting and driving has its own spot on this list. You know when you’re running late to work so you tie your tie or do your makeup while driving? Yeah, that’s distracted driving. Don’t forget those times you’ve eaten a snack while driving or lifted a drink to your lips, because that’s also distracted driving. Even glancing down for a second to turn down the AC or turn up the music is distracted driving.

I promise you that we’re ALL guilty of this. EVERYONE gets annoyed when the person in front of them waits a full 10 seconds before going at a green light because they’re busy checking themselves out in the mirror.

 

  1. Improper and Unsafe Lane Changing

Not only is “improper lane change” illegal and ticket-worthy, it’s annoying! It causes traffic as drivers dart in front of each other, forcing the drivers behind them to slow down. It causes road rage as drivers cut one another off. Then there are the drivers that just don’t have a clue as to how lane changes work by pulling in a lane ending up almost on top of another driver’s bumper. This is something else we’re all guilty of, because sometimes we just have to change lanes quickly because we forgot our exit and cut of everyone in front of us to cross 4 lanes and exit before the exit lane disappears, but that doesn’t change the fact that it drives others insane.

 

  1. Hogging Left Lane

PSA: the left lane is NOT the fast lane—it’s the passing lane. You’re only supposed to use it if you want to pass a car that’s in the right or middle lane rather than ride it for the duration of your time on the interstate. Just like when someone hogs the middle lane, hogging the left lane can incite road rage in other drivers. It causes other drivers to use the right lane as a passing lane, which is more dangerous since that lane is moving far slower. Drivers, save us all the hassle and use the “fast lane” to pass other drivers instead of your personal express lane.

 

  1. Using Phone While Driving

Remember how I said that texting while driving is its own point on this list? That would be because this irritates people more than every other form of distracted driving. EVERYONE uses their phone while driving, either to make calls, locate an address, change the music, or send a quick text or Snapchat to their friend. We’ve all been guilty of this one at some point, and are even guiltier of being angry at the driver who drifts within their lane because they need to check their most recent notification or the other driver who has to drive 10 mph below the speed limit because they have to finish sending the text they started typing at the last red light.

 

  1. Not Following the Speed Limit

If you’re like me, you hate the drivers that drive so far under the speed limit that a turtle could beat them in a race and the drivers that drive so far above the speed limit that they could take off for outer space in any minute. Yes, the speed limit is there for a reason. No, none of us ever follow the speed limit perfectly. But for the sake of other drivers who a) want to get to work on time and b) want to get to work without getting killed by a reckless driver, let’s all pay closer attention to the speed limit and try not to kill the guy who just cut you off going 20 mph over the speed limit or the other guy who’s obviously not in a hurry to get anywhere going 20 mph under the speed limit.

 

  1. Tailgating

Tailgating: a more appropriate word for what most of us call “riding a**.” This is probably one of the most irritating things that drivers do, even though we all do it occasionally when the turtle mentioned in the previous point decides to drive a car. Not only is it annoying when someone is riding your bumper for miles, it’s dangerous too. I mean, what if someone turns rapidly in front of you and you have to slam on the brakes? The person tailgating you will end up rear-ending you immediately! The practice of tailgating is both unsafe an irritating. Rather than riding someone’s bumper because they drive too slowly, use the left-hand passing lane that we talked about earlier! 

 

  1. Not Using Turn Signals Properly

The number one thing on my list of annoying driving habits would be my BIGGEST pet peeve: not using turn signals properly. I can’t stand it when people drive for miles with their turn signal on, use their turn signal when they’ve already changed lines, or just don’t use their turn signal at all. It’s not like it takes immense effort to use a turn signal! I flip the lever in less than half a second with a flick of my pinky. Just turn it on when you need to and make sure it’s turned off when you don’t need it to follow the laws and let other drivers know where you’re going. You’ll end up saving lives this way since everyone will know where you’re going and since no one will want to kill you for not using your blinker.

 

So there you have it! These are the top 10 most annoying driving habits as determined by 1 ACT Driving Schools. Remember that most of these things are ticket-worthy and will add points to your driver’s license, so if you want to eliminate those points or potentially reduce your ticket fines, sign up for a defensive driving class with us here! We would love to have you.

 

Which of the 10 most annoying driving habits are YOU most guilty of? Answer in the poll to the right, and see how your habits compare to others'!

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Locking Down Your License if You have a DUI

By Monica Ruechel

If you are a first-time DUI offender in the state of Georgia, I have some good news and some bad news for you.

Good news: A newly proposed law says that you don’t have to get your driver’s license suspended if you get a DUI!

Bad news: To avoid getting your license suspended, you’ll need to use an ignition interlock device on your car.

What is an ignition interlock device? An ignition interlock device is a device that is installed in a car that requires you to blow into a Breathalyzer before it will start. If you blow below whatever the legal limit, the car will start. You’ll have to blow randomly throughout the drive to ensure that you don't drive while intoxicated. If you at any point blow over the legal limit, the device will log that entry and an alarm will sound until you turn the car off and provide a clean sample. If you blow over the legal limit, the car will not start and will stay off for a set period of time. It’s very handy!

Building off of House Bill 205, this new allows you to receive an “Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit." This means that you can still drive to specified places! Of course, it isn’t as easy as it seems. To get that Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit:

Application for the permit must be made with DDS within 30 days of the person being served notice of the ALS by the arresting officer through the DS-1205 form, or—in the event of a DS-1205S form—within 30 days of receiving such notice of the ALS from DDS; The ALS cannot stem from a motor vehicle accident involving fatalities or serious injuries; The person must be licensed in Georgia and not have any other suspensions, cancellations, or revocations against his or her Georgia driver’s license; If the person holds a Georgia commercial driver’s license (CDL), he or she must downgrade to a non-commercial Georgia driver’s license in order to obtain and maintain the permit; The person cannot have any prior convictions for DUI in the 5-year period preceding application for the permit; The person must surrender his or her Georgia driver’s license, either to the arresting officer at time of arrest or to DDS prior to issuance of the permit; and, The person must pay a $25.00 permit fee (http://www.covnews.com/section/163/article/203834/)

The length of time that you must keep the device in your car ranges from 4-12 months. This is determined by whether you consent to the chemical test requested by the officer upon your arrest. If you consented to the chemical test, you must keep the device for 4 months. It can be removed early and if you are acquitted of the charge or the charge is dismissed. If you didn’t consent to chemical tests, you must have the device installed for 12 months. The device cannot be removed early if you are acquitted or the charge is dismissed.

That sounds like a pretty good deal! What could possibly be the downside to this? How is this “bad news”?

As I said, the good news is that you won’t lose your license. The reason this ignition interlock device isn’t entirely good news is that while it seems like an easy way out, it isn’t. It doesn’t absolve you of the fees or conditions associated with the licensure part of your DUI charge.

Think about it: you must be entirely compliant with the restrictions or else the device will be removed and you’ll lose your driving privileges. If you blow a 0.01 because you rinsed your mouth with mouthwash after breakfast, you probably won’t be arriving at work on time that morning. Your probation officer will think you're drinking! Being seen as “non-compliant” does you NO favors in the justice system.

Then, there’s the $25 fee for the Ignition Interlock Limited Permit. After you get that permit, you have to pay $100 to get the device installed in your car. The fees don’t stop there. You have to pay somewhere between $60-$80 per month in device rental, monitoring, and device calibration fees. That’s between $240-$960 in extra fees depending on the period of time you have the device installed. THEN, it’ll cost you between $90-$100 to get the device REMOVED from your car. On top of that, there may be a reinstatement fee for your driver's license. You’ll be spending between $455-$1,193 total throughout the process of having an Ignition Interlock Limited Permit.

Obviously, there’s a massive downside to not losing your driver’s license after your first DUI, hence the “bad news” comment. BUT there’s more good news!

Good news: The ignition interlock device will make your post-DUI life SIGNIFICANTLY easier.

Think about it—your life isn’t going to drastically change like it does when you lose your driver’s license. You can get yourself from point A to point B. You don't have to rely on alternative methods of transportation. You don’t have to wait a year to get your license back. You don’t have to pay $250 to reinstate your license after that time is up. You don’t have to spend a fortune on transportation when friends and family can’t give you a ride. Even though bus fares are low and Uber is easy, all those fees add up! You’ll end up paying significantly more money if you decide to have your license suspended than you would if you opted for the Ignition Interlock Limited Permit.

This new law is good news for everyone. Now, you don’t have to put your entire life on hold if you get your first DUI. It gives you the opportunity to go about your day as you always did—it’s a second chance in a way. Of course, this law changes nothing about the punishment for your second or third DUI, but if you just get one DUI, you can get through it without making drastic changes to your routine or making your wallet cry tears of pain. Even with this new change, I would recommend that you avoid getting your first DUI altogether so that you don’t have to worry about losing your license or having an ignition interlock device on your car.