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Georgia

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 30. Handicapped Persons. Chapter 4. Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Chapter 6. Uniform Rules of the Road. Article 5. Rights and Duties of Pedestrians; Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 12. Offenses Against Public Health and Morals. Article 4. Offenses Against Public Transportation. Part 1. General Provisions.

Statute Details
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Citation: GA ST 30-4-2 to 4; GA ST 40-6-94; GA ST 16-12-120; GA ST 16-11-107.1

Citation: Ga. Code Ann., 30-4-2 to 4; 40-6-94; 16-12-120; Ga. Code Ann., 16-11-107.1


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 12/2013

Summary:  

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.



Statute in Full:

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 30. Handicapped Persons. Chapter 4. Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

§ 30-4-2. Equal accommodations for blind persons, persons with visual or physical disabilities, and deaf persons; use of guide or service dogs

§ 30-4-3. Renting, leasing, or purchasing housing accommodations; use of guide or service dogs

§ 30-4-4. Violations

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 11. Offenses Against Public Order and Safety. Article 4. Dangerous Instrumentalities and Practices. Part 1. General Provisions.

§ 16-11-107.1. Harassment of assistance dog; penalties

Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Chapter 6. Uniform Rules of the Road. Article 5. Rights and Duties of Pedestrians.

§ 40-6-94. Blind pedestrian right of way

Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 12. Offenses Against Public Health and Morals. Article 4. Offenses Against Public Transportation. Part 1. General Provisions.

§ 16-12-120. Conduct in public transit buses, rapid rail cars, and rapid rail or intermodal bus stations

 

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 30. Handicapped Persons. Chapter 4. Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

§ 30-4-2. Equal accommodations for blind persons, persons with visual or physical disabilities, and deaf persons; use of guide or service dogs

(a) Blind persons, persons with visual disabilities, persons with physical disabilities, and deaf persons are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges on all common carriers, airplanes, motor vehicles, railroad trains, motor buses, streetcars, boats, or any other public conveyances or modes of transportation and at hotels, lodging places, places of public accommodation, amusement, or resort, and other places to which the general public is invited, subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

(b)(1) Every totally or partially blind person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog, and every physically disabled person and every deaf person shall have the right to be accompanied by a service dog, especially trained for the purpose, in any of the places listed in subsection (a) of this Code section without being required to pay an extra charge for the guide or service dog; provided, however, that he or she shall be liable for any damage done to the premises or facilities by such dog. In addition, if such totally or partially blind person, physically disabled person, or deaf person is a student at a private or public school in this state, such person shall have the right to be accompanied by a guide dog or service dog subject to liability for damage as provided in the preceding sentence. The guide dog or service dog must be identified as having been trained by a school for seeing eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs.

(2) Every person engaged in the training of a guide dog or service dog for the purpose of accompanying a person as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall have the same right to be accompanied by such dog being trained as the totally or partially blind person, deaf person, or physically disabled person has under paragraph (1) of this subsection, so long as such trainer is identified as an agent or employee of a school for seeing eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs.

(3) Every person engaged in the raising of a dog for training as a guide dog or service dog for the purpose of accompanying a person as provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall have the same right to be accompanied by such dog being raised for training as the totally or partially blind person, deaf person, or physically disabled person has under paragraph (1) of this subsection, so long as:

(A) Such dog is being held on a leash and is under the control of the person raising such dog for an accredited school for seeing eye, hearing, service, or guide dogs;

(B) Such person has on his or her person and available for inspection credentials from the accredited school for which the dog is being raised; and

(C) Such dog is wearing a collar, leash, or other appropriate apparel or device that identifies such dog with the accredited school for which such dog is being raised.

(c) Every totally or partially blind person operating a vending stand shall have the right to be accompanied by a trained guide dog on the entire premises of his or her vending operation.

Laws 1955, p. 155, § 1; Laws 1975, p. 1639, § 1; Laws 1980, p. 1131, § 1; Laws 1991, p. 616, § 1; Laws 1994, p. 1405, § 1; Laws 1995, p. 10, § 30; Laws 1995, p. 1302, § 16; Laws 1998, p. 512, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 1350, § 1; Laws 2007, Act 210, § 1, eff. July 1, 2007.

 

§ 30-4-3. Renting, leasing, or purchasing housing accommodations; use of guide or service dogs

(a) Blind persons, visually disabled persons, physically disabled persons, and deaf persons shall be entitled to rent, lease, or purchase, as other members of the general public, all housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or other compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law and applicable alike to all persons.

(b) Every totally or partially blind person, every physically disabled person, and every deaf person who has a guide dog or service dog or who obtains a guide dog or service dog and every person engaged in the training of a guide dog or service dog shall be entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this Code section, and he or she shall not be required to pay extra compensation for such guide dog or service dog. However, he or she shall be liable for any damage done to the premises by such guide dog or service dog.

(c) Nothing in this Code section shall require any person renting, leasing, or otherwise providing real property for compensation to modify his or her property in any way or provide a higher degree of care for a blind, visually disabled, physically disabled, or deaf person than for a person who is not so disabled.

Laws 1955, p. 155, § 1; Laws 1975, p. 1639, § 1; Laws 1980, p. 1131, § 1; Laws 1995, p. 1302, § 14; Laws 1996, p. 665, § 2; Laws 1998, p. 512, § 2; Laws 2000, p. 1350, § 1.

 

§ 30-4-4. Violations

Any person, firm, corporation, or the agent of any person, firm, or corporation who denies or interferes with admittance to or enjoyment of the facilities enumerated in this chapter or otherwise interferes with the rights of a totally or partially blind person, physically disabled person, or deaf person or person engaged in the training or raising of a guide dog or service dog as provided by this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $2,000.00, imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1955, p. 155, § 2; Laws 1975, p. 1639, § 2; Laws 1980, p. 1131, § 2; Laws 2000, p. 1350, § 1; Laws 2007, Act 210, § 2, eff. July 1, 2007.

 

West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 11. Offenses Against Public Order and Safety. Article 4. Dangerous Instrumentalities and Practices. Part 1. General Provisions.

§ 16-11-107.1. Harassment of assistance dog; penalties

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Assistance dog" means a dog that is or has been trained by a licensed or certified person, organization, or agency to perform physical tasks for a physically challenged person. Assistance dogs include guide or leader dogs that guide individuals who are legally blind; hearing dogs that alert individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to specific sounds; and service dogs for individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness, which are trained to perform a variety of physical tasks, including, but not limited to, pulling a wheelchair, lending balance support, picking up dropped objects, or providing assistance in a medical crisis.

(2) "Harass" means to engage in any conduct directed toward an assistance dog that is knowingly likely to impede or interfere with the assistance dog's performance of its duties or that places the blind, deaf, or physically limited person being served or assisted by the dog in danger of injury.

(3) "Notice" means an oral or otherwise communicated warning proscribing the behavior of another person and a request that the person stop the particular behavior.

(b) Any person who knowingly and intentionally harasses or attempts to harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both.

(c) Any person who has received notice that his or her behavior is interfering with the use of an assistance dog who continues to knowingly and intentionally harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both, provided that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(d) Any person who knowingly and intentionally allows his or her dog to harass an assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than 90 days or a fine not to exceed $500.00, or both, provided that any person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

(e) Any person who knowingly and intentionally allows his or her dog to cause death or physical harm to an assistance dog by rendering a part of the assistance dog's body useless or by seriously disfiguring the assistance dog, knowing the dog to be an assistance dog, shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

Laws 1996, p. 665, § 1; Laws 2004, Act 722, § 1, eff. July 1, 2004.

 

Title 40. Motor Vehicles and Traffic. Chapter 6. Uniform Rules of the Road. Article 5. Rights and Duties of Pedestrians.

§ 40-6-94. Blind pedestrian right of way

The driver of every vehicle shall yield the right of way to any blind pedestrian who is carrying a walking cane or stick white in color or white tipped with red or who is accompanied by a guide dog.

Laws 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 556, § 80; Laws 1974, p. 633, § 1; Laws 1990, p. 2048, § 5.

 

Title 16. Crimes and Offenses. Chapter 12. Offenses Against Public Health and Morals. Article 4. Offenses Against Public Transportation. Part 1. General Provisions.

§ 16-12-120. Conduct in public transit buses, rapid rail cars, and rapid rail or intermodal bus stations

(a) A person who commits or attempts to commit any of the following acts in a public transit bus, a rapid rail car, or a rapid rail station or intermodal bus station shall be guilty of a misdemeanor:

(1) Spits, defecates, or urinates;

(2) Discards litter, except into receptacles designated for that purpose;

(3) Smokes tobacco in any form;

(4) Consumes food or beverage or possesses any open food or beverage container, provided that this paragraph shall not apply to resealable beverages in resealable plastic containers, to an operator of a public transit bus at an authorized layover point, or to a person providing food or beverage to any child under age five; provided, further, that nothing in this paragraph shall apply to a rapid rail station or intermodal bus station, unless the public transit system operating such station adopts a policy prohibiting food or beverages in such station; and provided, further, that nothing in this paragraph shall preclude a public transit system operated or funded by a county, municipality, or consolidated government from prohibiting the consumption of any beverage in a public transit bus;

(5) Plays any radio; cassette, cartridge, or tape player; or similar device unless such device is connected to an earphone that limits the sound to the hearing of the individual user;

(6) Carries or possesses any explosives, acids, other dangerous articles, or live animals, except for the following:

(A) A guide dog or service dog as described in Code Section 30-4-2, provided that such guide dog or service dog is accompanied by a physically disabled person, blind person, person with visual disabilities, deaf person, or a person who is responsible for training a guide dog or service dog; and

(B) Small pets confined to rigid pet carriers with locks or latches;

(7) Obstructs, hinders, interferes with, or otherwise disrupts or disturbs the operation, operator, or passengers of a public transit bus or rapid rail car;

(8) Boards any public transit bus through the rear exit door, unless so directed by an employee or agent of the carrier;

(9) Remains aboard any public transit bus or rapid rail car after such vehicle has completed its scheduled route and passengers have been advised to exit the vehicle or remains aboard any public transit bus or rapid rail car after having been warned and after such vehicle has entered a garage or other restricted area not open to the public;

(10) Enters, exits, or passes through any emergency door of any rapid rail car or public transit bus in the absence of a bona fide emergency; or

(11) Enters the operator's cab or driver's seat of any rapid rail car or public transit bus in the absence of a bona fide emergency.

(a.1)(1) It shall be unlawful to solicit money or sell goods or services for a fee to the operator or passengers of a public transit bus or rapid rail car within the confines of such vehicle or within the paid areas of any rapid rail station or intermodal bus station without the express permission or grant of a concession by the public transportation authority or carrier.

(2) It shall be unlawful to deliver or distribute handbills or flyers of a commercial nature to the operator or passengers of a public transit bus or rapid rail car within the confines of such vehicle or within the paid area of any rapid rail station or intermodal bus station.

(3) A person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50.00 and not more than $100.00. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, a person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100.00 and not more than $250.00 or by imprisonment for not more than ten days, or both.

(b) Employees of a public transportation authority or carrier while at work performing the duties of their employment shall be exempted from the restrictions of paragraphs (8), (9), (10), and (11) of subsection (a) of this Code section.

(c) A person convicted of a first offense of violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of not less than $ 50.00 and not more than $ 100.00. Upon a second or subsequent conviction, a person shall be punished by a fine of not less than $ 100.00 and not more than $ 250.00 or by imprisonment for not more than ten days, or both.

(d) This Code section shall be cumulative to and shall not prohibit the enactment of any other general and local laws, rules, and regulations of state or local authorities or agencies, and local ordinances prohibiting such activities which are more restrictive than this Code section.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1976, p. 1645, § 1; Laws 1998, p. 890, § 1; Laws 1999, p. 81, § 16; Laws 2001, p. 4, § 16; Laws 2003, Act 77, § 1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2005, Act 365, § 1, eff. July 1, 2005; Laws 2009, Act 153, § 1, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2010, Act 624, § 16, eff. June 3, 2010.

 



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