Last week, a Jonesboro, Georgia man was arrested for driving under the influence(DUI) after being involved in a car accident which left a Fulton County Police officer injured. He awaits trial on charges which include: driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to yield, and DUI. Just days prior, a woman in Augusta, Georgia plead guilty for vehicular homicide and DUI after being involved in a car accident that killed a 40 year old motorcyclist. The unfortunate truth is that stories about injuries and deaths resulting from alcohol influenced driving are not uncommon.
In Georgia, BAC As Low as .02 Percent Can Lead to Criminal Sanctions.
In Georgia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. A driver who has a BAC of .08 percent or higher may be charged with a DUI. In addition, a driver with a BAC between .05 and .08 percent may be charged with a DUI in circumstances where it is established that the consumption of alcohol made them a less safe driver. Drivers with commercial licenses and underage drivers have even lower BAC limits, they cannot exceed a BAC of .04 percent and .02 percent respectively.
Over a Quarter of Accident Fatalities Involve Alcohol Impaired Driving.
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office on Highway Safety, approximately 1,500 roadway fatalities occur within the State annually. Just over 400, or approximately 28 percent, of these roadway fatalities are related to alcohol impaired driving. For purposes of these statistics, a driver was considered alcohol impaired if their BAC exceeded .08 percent. An additional 70 individuals are killed annually in accidents where one driver has a BAC between .01 and .07 percent. In total, nearly 500 individuals lose their lives in accidents where one of the drivers has a BAC of .01 percent or more.
Studies also show that the rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal car accidents is four times greater at night than during the day. Furthermore, drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 have the largest proportion of drivers with a BAC of .08 percent or greater who are involved in fatal car accidents. In addition, drivers who have a BAC of .08 percent or higher that are involved in fatal car accidents are eight times more likely to have prior DUI convictions than drivers involved in fatal car accidents who do not have alcohol detected in their system.
Accident Victims Can Sue Alcohol Impaired Drivers for Their Losses.
When an alcohol impaired driver causes a traffic accident, they are not only subject to criminal sanctions, they are also civilly liable to individuals who were injured, killed, or suffered other losses as a result of their conduct.
You should contact an attorney immediately if you have suffered injuries, loss of property, or the death of a loved one as a result of a car accident where one of the drivers was alcohol impaired. And attorney will review the facts of your case to determine whether a civil suit can be filed against the alcohol impaired driver in order to seek compensation for your losses.