Teen DUI Driver Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

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. Georgia DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

Georgia has a zero tolerance law for underage drinking and driving. Though the illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers over 21 years old is 0.08 percent, drivers under 21 can be charged with DUI with a BAC of 0.02 percent. Teen drivers can be charged with DUI in a minor accident if a chemical test indicates that they have a small amount of alcohol in their system. 

A 17-year-old driver who had been expelled from school and arrested for having marijuana in his car was sentenced to 15 years in prison and must serve seven years for DUI and vehicular homicide. A 16-year-old, Cheyenne Sauls, was killed when Jason Lark flipped a truck, killing Sauls. Lark was driving 45 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone and had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.105 percent at the time of the accident, well above the 0.02 BAC permitted in Georgia for drivers under 21 years old.

Sauls' parents filed 13 wrongful death lawsuits against Lark, people who purchased alcohol for minors at two parties Sauls attended the night of the accident, the owner of the truck that was in the accident, the people who hosted the two parties and the person who rented a U-Haul truck that was partially blocking the road and may have been the reason Lark lost control of his truck.

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 Shane Smith Law to schedule a free legal consultation.

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