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.
More than a year after a fatal DUI accident, 18-year-old McKenzie Farrow Crowe accepted a plea deal on charges that included vehicular homicide, failure to maintain her lane and DUI.
The teen was sentenced to 15 years in prison and will serve three behind bars, be required to wear an ankle monitor for another year and be on probation for another 11 years. She will pay a $1,000 fine, complete 240 hours of community service and will be required to speak annually to local high school students her DUI accident and her experience in the legal system.
The incident occurred when the high school senior crossed the center line and her truck ran head-on into a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Blood was taken from the teen after the accident and toxicology results revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent, well above the 0.02 percent legal intoxication limit for minors.
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.