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  • Fireworks, Garbage Trucks and Beer: New Laws in Georgia

    Written on July 15, 2015

    A number of new laws went into effect on July 1 in Georgia. State lawmakers created laws that cover a variety of topics including beer, minors with beer, fireworks and garbage trucks.

    If you were in the state on The Fourth of July, chances are you heard a lot of fireworks in your neighborhood. That’s because several categories of fireworks became legal in Georgia. The days of driving to Tennessee or Alabama to pick up your fireworks are gone.  Before July 1, firework enthusiasts in Georgia could only buy sparklers, noisemakers and fireworks that stayed on the ground. The new law allows fireworks that shoot up in the air and make considerably more noise.

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    Several new laws deal with alcohol. Craft breweries in Georgia are now allowed to offer beer as “free samples” if someone pays for a tour. Up to 36 ounces of beer can be consumed on site while up to 72 ounces of beer can be taken home. Hopefully those consuming the beer are of legal age. If they aren’t, however, the minor won’t necessary have to go to jail. Legislators decided that minors caught with alcohol may be given a citation instead of being taken to jail.

    If you have been drinking, the attorneys at The Silverbach Group recommend that you don’t get behind the wheel of a car. Driving while under the influence puts you, and everyone else on the road, at risk.

    Most motorists are familiar with the state’s “move over laws” and various passing laws. If a school bus has flashing red lights on the roadway, it’s against the law to pass it. If you do, you will find yourself with a $300 citation and as many as six points on your license record. If a police officer has a vehicle stopped, other drivers must move over a lane if possible. If you don’t move over when there is room to do so, you could also find yourself with a ticket. A new law adds garbage trucks to the list.

    Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than being stuck behind a garbage truck that is stopping in front of every house when you are trying to get to work. Most of us just zoom around the truck when the road is clear and keep on driving. Doing that now could get you a ticket. If you are behind a garbage truck, according to the new legislation, you can only pass by moving completely into the opposite lane.  That means you have to be on a part of the road where passing is permitted. If there is a broken yellow line, it’s legal to pass. If you cross a solid line, however, there could be flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror.

    If it’s not possible to move over a full lane, the law does allow drivers to pass the truck as long as they slow to ten miles-per-hour under the speed limit. There will obviously be a great deal of discretion on the part of police officers when enforcing this law.

    If you have any questions about the laws in Georgia, or have a legal matter you need to discuss with an attorney, call The Silverbach Group today. We are a law firm of experienced attorneys here to help. You can reach us at 770-635-0334.


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