According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers. A 2006 study by the NHTSA estimated that there is one drunk driving fatality in the United States every 30 minutes.
Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.
A 23-year-old University of West Georgia graduate recently negotiated an unusual plea deal in a DUI auto accident. An hour before the homecoming football game the woman turned left in front of a 20-year-old motorcyclist. The motorcyclist, a UWG student, died at the scene. The woman was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield when turning left.
The woman, an elementary school teacher near Savannah, worked out a unique plea deal where she pled guilty to all charges. She was sentenced to two years in prison with a condition that she can serve time at the Carroll County jail only during school breaks lasting three consecutive days or longer.
The victim's family also has potential claims against the driver for wrongful death. There are two types of death claims that may be pursued by the deceased's family under Georgia law: surviving family members may file a claim pursuant to Georgia's wrongful death statute or a claim may be pursued by the victim's estate. Wrongful death claims may involve complicated issues that include whether the victim left a will, his marital status, whether he had any children, whether he was due to receive an inheritance, the nature of medical care and expenses following the accident and whether the victim suffered as a result of the accident. A case's unique facts will determine who is entitled to settlement or verdict recoveries, which people may pursue wrongful death claims and the values of each claim. A successful claim is aided by the expertise of an experienced Clayton County wrongful death attorney.
If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.