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.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a truck driven by a drunk teen crashed into a telephone pole within five minutes of his leaving a party. The truck, which contained five passengers, was impaled by the pole. A 17-year-old passenger was killed in the accident.
The 17-year-old driver was arrested for underage DUI, vehicular homicide, reckless driving, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain lane, seat belt violation and two counts of violation of Class D license restrictions.
With a Class D license, the driver was prohibited from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. and from having passengers under 21 who were not relatives.
An 18-year-old passenger was also arrested for consumption of alcohol by a minor, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, and maintaining a disorderly house. The last charge was because he was the party's host and had been serving alcohol to more than 60 teens while his parents were away.
Two others, ages 17 and 18, were each charged with reckless conduct and alcohol possession/consumption by persons under 21.
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.
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.