For decades, we have known that excessive alcohol and driving are not a good combination. After many years of involvement in Georgia Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, I am all too aware that the consequences of drinking and driving are not only inherently dangerous, but unpredictable. Those who have been convicted of crimes related to DUI and are serving sentences in prison for injuring or killing others on the road, will likely tell you that if they had to do it over again they would have found another way to get home from that party, from that bar from that gathering with friends where they had “a little too much.” Those who have been convicted and who present their stories to audiences, such as high school students, note that the first thing to go is judgment.
That result was recently evidenced in Cobb County when a teen driver attended a party and ended up driving on the wrong side of the road, causing serious injury to two people. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the teen hit another vehicle head on while driving in the opposite lane of traffic. The teen is lucky in one sense. Those injured in the other vehicle will survive their injuries, although medical intervention was required due to broken bones and other injuries. The young driver herself needed some medical treatment. The allegedly drunk driver has now been charged with felonies, including two counts of serious injury by vehicle and related crimes. This crime is codified at the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-394.
One of the dangers involved in alcohol consumption and driving is that individuals often underestimate the impact that alcohol is having on them. Their judgment becomes impaired about assessing their own impairment. In addition, there is no magical formula to know precisely when any given individual will become impaired by alcohol. Much depends on how much alcohol has been consumed and over what period of time. Statistics show that a person with a blood alcohol level of .08 and .10 is more than 10 times more likely to have at least a single vehicle crash. Young men are more at risk at this level … over 50 times more likely to have a single vehicle crash than a person with a blood alcohol level of zero.
Recently, in a Lowndes County courtroom, a man apologized to the family of a victim that was killed in a crash caused by his drinking and driving. He spoke with tears in his eyes while pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and was then sentenced to five years in prison for what the MADD representative at the hearing called “heartbreaking” and “extremely preventable.”
After an accident involving a drunk driver when there are injured or deceased victims, families often have difficulty dealing with the anger they feel. For those who have lost a family member, support is needed in many areas. Our work on behalf of victims and their families is focused on doing all we can to protect the legal rights and to fight for justice for the injured or deceased loved one. Please contact Scholle Law for a consultation at no charge in which we will evaluate the legal and other rights to which you and your family are entitled.