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Georgia DUI Victims Need to Understand Both Civil & Criminal Cases

When a crash in Georgia occurs, law enforcement is generally the first to respond. When police officers arrive on a scene, they provide aid or call for an ambulance and paramedics if needed, talk to those involved in the crash, and take the initial report. This process is important for officers to determine whether one of the drivers involved in the crash was driving under the influence.  

Law enforcement officials can usually tell if a driver is drunk by the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Smell of alcohol on his or her breath
  • Stumbling
  • Open alcoholic containers in a car

If an officer suspects a driver is drunk, then he will ask that driver to take a field sobriety test. The officer may also bring the suspected driver to the police station for a breathalyzer test or urine test. If the test(s) indicate that the driver was intoxicated while driving, then he will be arrested.

Drunk Driving Accidents are Both Criminal and Civil Cases

If you were injured in an alcohol-related crash, you will, of course, want that driver to be arrested. While the arrest is important to a criminal case, it does not automatically grant you, a Georgia DUI victim, compensation for your injuries. A criminal case will decide whether there will be fines, license suspicion, and jail time for the person being accused of the crime.

However, drunk drivers must also answer for their negligent actions in civil court. In order to recover compensation, you will need to pursue a civil case and file a personal injury claim for the damages that were done. This type of case is different than other motor vehicle accident cases because you can seek punitive damages in addition to compensation for the losses and damages you suffered. 

If you are a Georgia DUI victim, you will need the assistance of an experienced and successful Georgia DUI victim attorney to help you seek justice and get the compensation to which you are entitled. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 770-HURT-999 or (866) 979-1629 to receive a free consultation today. Additionally, you may want to read our book, I Was Hit by a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? The Guide for Victims of Georgia Drunk Driving Accidents, which will provide you with more information about the process. Simply fill out our online form, and we will provide you with a complimentary copy.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia