New Laws Roll out in Georgia

The state of Georgia has some new laws taking effect beginning in July and local police have varying opinions on them. The new laws include the so-called “slowpoke law”, one designed to facilitate driver license online renewal, and a controversial new open carry law.

The leftmost lane of a road or highway is meant to be used only for passing other slower moving cars, but many people utilize it to travel long distances at or near the speed limit. Often people using the lane for this method of travel would refuse to move over for a car behind them that was moving faster, as that car would clearly be moving at speeds in excess of the speed limit. Under old laws this was permitted. The new law, designed to reduce incidents of “road rage”, states clearly that a driver must move over to allow another driver by even if that other driver is exceeding the speed limit.

In an effort to reduce lines at licensing facilities, a new law will allow drivers to present their receipts from online renewal as valid licenses until they receive their license in the mail. While it may help to encourage the use of online services to perform renewals, some law enforcement officials believe it may cause more troubles than it solves.

Likely the most debated new law is one that provides the ability to carry firearms into many establishments previously prohibited by law, including places of worship and businesses serving alcohol. The law does allow individual establishments to disallow the carrying of firearms, but many officials fear it may lead to dangerous situations, especially in places serving alcohol.