According to a WSB-TV Channel 2 Atlanta report, police have arrested a 20-year-old woman after an alleged drunk driving accident. The woman was charged with driving under the influence (DUI), serious injury by vehicle, and other traffic-related charges. The investigation is ongoing.
For people involved in a drunk driving accident, talking with a Marietta personal injury lawyer may help to understand their legal options.
To fully understand the drunk-driving impact, consider that the impact can be injury and often death.
Drunk driving is a huge issue in Georgia. While you’ve heard about it in the news, read about it online, and may have experienced the devasting impact of drunk driving, the statistics in Georgia are shocking.
Drunk Driving Is Deadly in Georgia
According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, 3,241 people in Georgia were killed in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver from 2009-2018.
Georgia comes in with alarming statistics for auto accidents in general, with numbers almost double the average in the United States.
Georgia’s DUI Laws
Georgia laws are very explicit about driving and prohibit driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle when drinking alcohol.
The DUI laws define blood alcohol content (BAC) as .08% or greater. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the BAC is defined as .04% and .02% if the driver is under 21 years old.
In addition, drivers are prohibited from driving under the influence of drugs, controlled substances, or any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in the blood or urine.
Regardless of actual impairment, the person can be convicted with a BAC of .08% or more.
Georgia’s Implied Consent Law
All people driving in Georgia are considered to have implied their consent to drug testing. This means they are considered willing to submit to a chemical test for breath, blood, or urine.
Unlike some other states, Georgia law does not give drivers the right to consult a lawyer before deciding to take a chemical test.
A driver who is arrested for DUI but does not submit to testing will be subject to having their license suspended based on their refusal.
The suspension periods increase based on the frequency of the offense.
For instance, the first offense in five years carries a one-year suspension, but the driver can reinstate it after completing a DUI education program and 30 days. The penalty for a second offense in five years is a three-year suspension. However, the driver can complete the DUI education program and reinstate their license after 18 months.
If a third offense occurs within five years, the penalty is a five-year suspension. A driver can complete the DUI education program and get a probationary license after two years.
Felony DUI Charges in Georgia
In some circumstances, a DUI can be charged as a felony. This elevated charge carries more severe penalties, such as prison time of at least one year.
The circumstances for the change can include the driver’s fourth or subsequent DUI conviction in 10 years. It may also occur if the driver attempts to evade an officer or if the driver causes serious injury or death to another person, including an unborn fetus.
Understanding the dangers of drunk driving and Georgia law can inspire safe driving practices and avoiding driving after drinking alcohol.