DUI Facts: Penalties Increase with Each Conviction
Under Georgia DUI laws there are 3 stages of convictions a drunk driver may face: first, second, and third or subsequent. Each level of conviction has different penalties set forth by the Georgia drunk driving laws that may result in a criminal case. The number of convictions a driver has faced in the past can become valuable evidence for your personal injury claim, especially if this is not the driver's first conviction.
A first conviction can result in imprisonment for a minimum of 10 days up to 12 months, a $300 to $1,000 fine, 40 hours of community service, and a requirement for a clinical evaluation and DUI education course. The second conviction raises the term of imprisonment to a minimum 90 days up to 12 months, and fines from $600 to $1,000. The third or subsequent convictions of a driver for DUI result in a minimum 120 days to 12 months imprisonment, fines of $1,000 to $5,000 and a classification of “habitual offender” under Georgia DUI laws.
The “habitual offender” designation is an extremely important detail when presenting evidence in your personal injury claim. Your Georgia personal injury lawyer will help you show that the other driver's negligence caused your accident and injuries/losses.
If the other driver’s criminal records show prior convictions for drunk driving and current charges of DUI after your recent accident, this can potentially become evidence when proving that the driver was more at fault for the accident than you were.
DUI Facts: Georgia Drunk Driving Laws Cover Drinking Establishments
There is a part of Georgia DUI laws called the “Dram Shop Act” which governs conduct of a drinking establishment. This includes a licensed business that is allowed to serve alcohol to patrons – bars, restaurants, clubs, liquor stores and similar establishments.
Under the Dram Shop Act, a business that is found either to serve alcohol to a minor with knowledge that the minor was underage, or was found to have served alcohol to a noticeably drunk person knowing the person would soon be driving can be held liable. With this part of the Georgia drunk driving laws, it may be possible to file a claim against the drinking establishment that served the driver in your accident.
Utilizing the Dram Shop Act in a personal injury lawsuit is a strategy that is best handled by an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer, as it requires additional evidence, including a third party in your case, and extensive knowledge of the Georgia DUI laws.
Contact a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer
After a serious or fatal car accident you and your family may be dealing with the grief of serious injury, loss of a loved one, and financial burdens. During this difficult time it’s easy to get frustrated with your situation – you didn’t deserve to suffer due to the negligence of another!
Georgia DUI laws can be valuable evidence in a car accident claim when you suspect the crash was caused by a drunk driver. At Shane Smith Law we help accident victims seek justice after they’ve suffered injury and losses due to car accidents caused by drunk drivers. Face the DUI facts – one of the top cases of negligence in causing car accidents is drunk drivers!
Before filing your injury claim, request a copy of our FREE eBooks, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? and 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case. Our guides contain valuable information on how to handle filing a claim for serious injuries or wrongful death caused by a negligent driver. When you’re ready to get started on your claim, contact us to set up a FREE consultation – (980) 246-2656.