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 22-year-old Georgia driver who was involved in a fatal auto accident while intoxicated was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison and ordered to serve the first 15 years behind bars. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the accident killed the driver and passenger in another vehicle.
An investigation determined that the driver had been drinking all day, first at an Atlanta Braves game and then later at two different bars. The second bar reportedly refused to serve the man because he was clearly intoxicated. Accident reconstruction experts determined that the driver was traveling 86 mph in a 45 mph zone when he crashed head-on into the other vehicle, killing the two occupants instantly. The driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.214 percent, nearly three times the legal limit.
The victims' families have potential claims against the driver for wrongful death. 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.