A Bethlehem man is now in law enforcement custody after he allegedly was driving under the influence of marijuana, and rear-ended a car on Ga. Highway 314 on Friday, January 11, 2019.
At around 10:30 p.m. that night, Michael Hall, age 40, was driving west on Ga. 316 in a Chevrolet Malibu toward Lawrenceville, Ga. In the car was one passenger, Alishia Williamson, age 37. As he was driving, Hall rear-ended a Toyota Rav4 that was decreasing speed due to traffic ahead at the Hurricane Trail intersection. Gwinnett County Police Department Cpl. Michele Pihera provided information about the accident.
The impact pushed the Rav4 through the intersection about 200 feet. It then came to rest in the center grass median, and Hall's Malibu finally stopped in the right turn lane. The driver of the Rav4 and one of its passengers had visible injuries, but none were life-threatening. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment of these injuries.
Hall was also visibly injured. His passenger, Alishia Williamson, was not wearing her seat belt and suffered life-threatening injuries. She later passed away the following Monday.
Hall admitted to police that he had "used marijuana sometime prior to the accident." Hall was searched incident to his arrest, and law enforcement discovered that he possessed both marijuana and methamphetamine.
Hall now faces charges of:
- driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs;
- possession of methamphetamine;
- possession of marijuana,
- serious injury by vehicle;
- reckless driving;
- following too closely; and
- homicide by vehicle.
If you or someone you care about has been charged with drug-related DUI, or charges related to it, an experienced Gwinnett County DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your constitutional rights.
Marijuana Possession and Use in DUI Cases
Both possession of marijuana and its use when getting behind the wheel can have a significant impact on your criminal charges related to a Georgia DUI. If you are found to be in possession of marijuana, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for six months after a first offense. If it is your second offense, it will instead be a 1-year suspension.
Use of marijuana and driving can result in a DUI drug charge in Georgia. While a breathalyzer test cannot detect the presence of drugs in your system like it can with alcohol, law enforcement officers have other methods to "test" your level of intoxication due to drugs like marijuana, including:
Officers are often "trained" to detect when a driver is under the influence of drugs. This so-called "training" often leads to false positive indicators of intoxication. This is especially true when someone admits they smoked marijuana earlier, but claim they are no longer "high" from it.
Sadly, metabolites form marijuana remain in the blood long after the intoxicating effects have worn off. This often leads to improper DUI charges related to marijuana.
Consult a Gwinnett County DUI Attorney
A marijuana-related DUI charge can have a serious impact on your life and your freedoms. An experienced Gwinnett County DUI attorney can protect those freedoms and present defense to your criminal charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.