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.
There have been over 300 fatal DUI accidents in Georgia each year from 1995 until 2008. In those same accidents, over 400 people each year were killed when a driver even had a trace of alcohol in his system. Nearly 30 percent of Georgia auto accidents involve someone who was impaired due to excess alcohol consumption.
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 a driver under 21 years old has a BAC over 0.08 percent, the driver can be charged with underage drinking and driving and a "standard" DUI offense. The standard penalties for a Georgia teenage DUI conviction include up to 20 hours of community service and a six-month license suspension. The driver may be unable to obtain a restricted driver's license until he turns 21 years old.
A teen DUI conviction also remains on the driver's criminal record indefinitely. This means that any criminal check for employment, military service, higher education or housing applications will reveal the DUI conviction. Insurance rates will likely increase and some insurance companies deny coverage for teen DUI convictions.
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.