Atlanta DUI Accident Victim Lawyer
Accidents involving a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have a devastating effect on the victims. They could lose a loved one or experience life-impacting medical problems. For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A. have served those suffering from the consequences of these accidents across the state of Georgia. We provide compassionate, caring and experienced legal representation for all those injured in DUI-related collisions.
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 40-6-391, “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while: …Under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; [or]… The person’s alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended;”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finds that “In a year, there were 9,967 people killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, an average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 53 minutes.” Additionally, “These alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States in that year.”
However, alcohol is not the only substance to cause accidents. Drugs other than alcohol (legal and illegal) are involved in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.
According to the CDC, DUI accidents are most common among motorcycle operators, young people (over 33% of those with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher), and those who have been convicted of a DUI in the past (eight times as likely as other demographics).
Blood Alcohol Limits and Penalties
To be charged with a DUI violation in Georgia, a person’s Blood Alcohol Content or BAC must be at or above 0.08% legal limit within three hours of driving. If you are under 21, the BAC limit is 0.02%, and if you are operating a commercial vehicle, the limit is 0.04%. Penalties vary and are more severe for underage and repeat offenders. Penalties can range from fines of up to $1,000 for first-time offenses or up to $5,000 for third-time offenses. Additionally, the offender may face a mandatory drug and alcohol treatment program or the revocation of their license and up to a year of jail time.
The fines imposed on drunk drivers don’t go to the victims. In order to get payment for the damages you suffered, you will need to file a civil lawsuit. If you’re injured by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Between the medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages from being unable to work, and pain and suffering, the person who hurt you may owe you damages.
Collecting these damages, however, requires knowledge and experience. Insurance companies may try to avoid paying you the money you are owed. It’s important that you have a competent attorney who will ensure that you are fully and completely represented. An experienced Atlanta DUI accident attorney can advise you and assist you in this process and make sure that you are not taken advantage of.