Each day, 28 people across the country die in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. In addition, almost 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in that same year. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), almost 40 percent of all fatalities in Georgia car accidents are alcohol-related crashes.
Under Georgia law, a person cannot drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol or any drug to the extent that it is unsafe for the person to drive. A person also cannot have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within three hours of driving or being in control of the vehicle.
Victims of Georgia drunk driving accidents can recover damages caused by an intoxicated driver through a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, a plaintiff’s damages may include amounts for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, personal property damage, and potentially punitive damages.
New Drunk Driving Law
A new drunk driving law has recently taken effect in Georgia. According to a local news source, the law allows certain first-time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device after a conviction in lieu of other court-imposed penalties. An ignition interlock device requires a driver to blow into the device, and it will prevent the car from starting if the driver’s blood-alcohol level is above the legal limit to operate a vehicle. The new law gives first-time offenders the option of using the ignition interlock device instead of receiving certain penalties in court. The law went into effect on July 1st. The timing of the law is fitting, in that last year 12 people died in drunk driving crashes over the July 4th weekend in Georgia.
The executive director of Georgia’s Mothers Against Drunk Driving stated the ignition interlock devices have saved over 2 million lives across the United States. She said that the devices are the only technology that protect both the driver and the public. According to the organization, people who receive a license suspension for a DUI charge still drive with a suspended license 50 to 75 percent of the time. The director said that it took the organization 17 years to get the legislation passed in Georgia. She stated that the group’s goal is now to make the ignition interlock mandatory for all DUI offenders. The law is the first change in DUI law in Georgia in almost 20 years.
Contact a Georgia Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a DUI accident, contact a Georgia car accident attorney. At the McAleer Law Firm, we can assist you in going over your options and help you determine which course of action is best for you. If you bring a claim against a driver or another responsible person or entity, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve, including damages for lost wages, lost quality of life, and past and future medical expenses. Call us at 404-622-5337 or contact us through our online form for a free consultation.
See More Posts:
Georgia Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Defendant in Recent Car Accident Case, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, July 5, 2017.
Georgia Appellate Court Clarifies When Accumulated Rainfall Constitutes a Hazard, Georgia Injury Attorney Blog, June 27, 2017.