According to the National Highway Safety Administration, over 31 percent of fatal accidents in 2008 were alcohol-related. In Georgia, 415 of the 1,483 traffic fatalities involved a legally drunk driver (28 percent). Nationally, 11,773 of the 37,261 fatalities were in accidents that had a drunk driver.
If you are a victim of an alcohol-related accident you should have an experienced Clayton County DUI accident attorney. The Law Office of Shane Smith will protect your rights.
Drunk drivers are prosecuted in criminal court in Georgia. Penalties for an offender can include jail sentences, fines and the loss of a driver's license. A victim can work with the prosecutor and testify about how her life has been impacted by the drunk driver's actions.
The victim can also seek civil (monetary) damages for injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering and medical expenses. Punitive damages may also be sought as Georgia views driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as "conscious indifference to the consequences". Punitive damages may be pursued from the drunk driver's insurance company. Additionally, the source of the alcohol (bar or restaurant) may be liable if it can be shown that the server knew or should have known that the person was drunk when he was still being served and he was going to drive.
Drunk driving facts from 2008:
- 34 percent of drunk drivers who died in accidents were 21-24 years old.
- 31 percent of drunk driver fatalities were 25-34 years old.
- 25 percent of drunk drivers who were killed in accidents were 35-44 years old.
- 17 percent of drunk drivers who died in accidents were teen drivers who were not old enough to drink (ages 16-20).
- A Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent is considered legally intoxicated in almost every state. Most BAC levels for drivers killed in DUI accidents were 0.16 percent.
- Nearly 40 percent of drunk drivers who were killed in DUI accidents had been previously convicted for drunk driving.
- Almost 75 percent of drunk drivers killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts.