In 2009 there were a total of 1,284 traffic fatalities in Georgia. Twenty-eight percent of the total fatalities (331) were the result of alcohol impairment. Nationwide, intoxicated drivers are responsible for about one-third of all fatal traffic accidents that occur on weekdays, and more than half of fatal crashes on weekends. When our nation's 16,000 DUI deaths are averaged over a year, one person dies in an alcohol-related accident every half hour.

Losing a loved one to a drunk driver is a true tragedy. No one deserves to have their life cut short because of a reckless choice made by another.

When a person is killed by a drunk driver in Georgia, the family of the DUI victim has two avenues for justice. The first is the criminal court system. Drunk driving is illegal and the driver will face criminal charges. However, many drunk drivers receive only the minimum penalty regardless of how much loss they caused.

Families of Georgia DUI victims may also pursue a civil claim against the drunk driver. A civil claim allows a family to receive compensation for expenses that were incurred by the accident, including medical costs and burial costs. A civil claim also allows the family to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are a monetary reward given to the victim in order to punish the drunk driver. You can learn more in Atlanta DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's article, "Civil Proceedings Give Real Closure to Victims in Georgia DUI Cases".

Shane Smith
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