A disturbing trend has become more common in DUI accident cases where drunk driving offenders have sued their victims or the victims' families. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
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 17-year-old driver in another state charged with vehicular homicide in the 2009 deaths of a pregnant woman and her teenage son sued the victim's family in civil court. This was attempted despite text messages written just minutes before the accident indicating that the driver (then 16 years old) wanted to commit suicide. Accident investigators determined that the driver was traveling 85 miles per hour and did not apply her brakes until a second before impact. The driver sought compensation for her mental pain and suffering, loss of income and medical expenses following the car accident she caused.
In another case, a man convicted in another state of DUI of causing an auto accident that killed three people filed suit against his victims. In a strange twist, the man was represented by his sister who is an attorney. The man was convicted after six witnesses identified him as the driver who was going between 70-90 miles per hour before he struck a car that was stopped at a red light. Forensic investigations proved that the car the driver struck was not moving at the moment of impact. The driver was serving a 12-year prison sentence when he filed the suit claiming the driver he killed was actually responsible for the accident. The man sought more than $15,000 in compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life.
In another disturbing development for DUI accident victims, Georgia Rep. Culver "Rusty" Kidd proposed a bill in the House of Representatives that would expunge a DUI offender's record after five years as a way of enabling DUI offenders to have a "second chance" at life after DUI. The bill did not make it from the floor of the state House of Representatives before the voting deadline but Rep. Kidd publicly advocated for DUI offenders to help them "get good jobs and scholarships" that their DUI convictions had prevented.
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.