HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee Police Department conducted a traffic stop on North Main Street Tuesday, Nov. 19, on a gray Chevrolet Silverado, leading to the arrest of a South Carolina resident. According to the police report obtained by FYN, a female subject was allegedly witnessed using a cellular device while driving at the time that the traffic stop was initiated.
Deborah Lynn Miles, 43, of Pelzer, SC, was arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug-Related Objects following an investigation and vehicle search by the city’s law enforcement division.
A female passenger was charged with Open Container after alcohol was discovered in the vehicle.
Miles reportedly relayed to the arresting officer that she was using GPS mapping on her cellular device at the time of the traffic stop.
Miles and the passenger were transported to Towns County Detention Center. Both suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Georgia’s “Hands-Free” law took effect July 1, 2018, stating that:
- Drivers cannot have a phone in their hand or touching any part of their body while talking on their phone while driving.
- Even with hands-free technology, drivers cannot write, read or send text messages, e-mails, social media content, and other internet data while on the road. (Voice to text is allowed)
- Drivers cannot watch videos when they are on the road. (Navigational/GPS videos are allowed)
- Drivers cannot use their phones or electronic devices to record video when they are on the road. (Continuously running dash cams are allowed)
Drivers may listen to streaming music that does not include videos on the screen of their phone or device while driving but cannot touch their phones while on the road to activate or program any music streaming app. Streaming music that is controlled by and listened through the vehicle’s radio is allowed. Drivers who need to touch their phones to activate/program their music streaming apps must do so before getting on the road
- The fine for a first conviction is $50.00 and 1 point assessed against the driver’s license. The fine is $100.00 and 2 points for a second conviction and $150.00 and 3 points for three or more convictions. The fines for a 2nd or 3rd offense only apply when the date of a 2nd or 3rd conviction takes place within 24 months of the date of the first conviction. First-time offenders can have the charge dropped by showing the court they have obtained a device that allows them to talk on a phone with hands-free technology or devices.