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.
A Georgia man who was convicted in 2010 is seeking a retrial. His attorney claimed in court that new evidence was discovered regarding the fatal accident in which the convicted man was driving when he was 26 years old. The man was convicted of DUI, two counts of vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle and reckless driving for an auto accident that killed the man's brother and a 19-year-old woman.
The man was convicted in a second trial and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. A 2008 trial resulted in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision. The man's attorney now alleges that the blood alcohol measurement taken at the accident scene was inaccurate due to faulty equipment. The driver admitted at his trial that he had been drinking prior to the accident.
The victims' families have potential claims against the driver for wrongful death. In this case a wrongful death claim is complicated because the man who was killed in the accident was the driver's brother. There are two types of death claims that may be pursued by the deceased's family under Georgia law: surviving family members may file a claim pursuant to Georgia's wrongful death statute or a claim may be pursued by the victim's estate. Wrongful death claims may involve complicated issues that include whether the victim left a will, his marital status, whether he had any children, whether he was due to receive an inheritance, the nature of medical care and expenses following the accident and whether the victim suffered as a result of the accident. A case's unique facts will determine who is entitled to settlement or verdict recoveries, which people may pursue wrongful death claims and the values of each claim. A successful claim is aided by the expertise of an experienced Clayton County wrongful death attorney.
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 the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation.