Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the main causes of the car accidents in the state. It often causes drivers to lose control of their vehicles, drive recklessly or speed, disregard traffic signals, and make improper lane changes. The Georgia drunk driving statistics per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that nearly a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Georgia
According to the NHTSA, there were a total of 1,223 traffic fatalities in the state in 2011. Per Georgia drunk driving statistics, 277 of the fatalities were considered alcohol-impaired driving fatalities. This means that at least one driver involved in the accident had a BAC of .08 or higher. This was lower than the 31 percent rate among the United States as a whole in 2011. There were a total of 9,878 alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities in the U.S. and a total of 32,367 traffic fatalities overall.
Amongst all the alcohol-impaired fatal driving accidents in Georgia, drivers were found to have blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of .15 or more in a staggering 70 percent of the alcohol-impaired cases and 15 percent of traffic fatalities cases overall. Meanwhile, per the NHTSA, 77 percent of fatal accidents involving repeat offenders in 2010 involved a driver with a BAC of .15 or more.
The county with the highest number of alcohol-impaired fatal accidents in the state in 2011 was DeKalb County, which had 14 such fatalities. Next was Gwinnett County and Cobb County with 11 apiece, followed by Fulton County with 10.
Georgia Drunk Driving Laws
The state has stringent drunk driving laws. The laws are meant to both the curb the menace of drunk driving and protect and safeguard the rights of victims of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents.
According to the laws of Georgia, any driver found driving with BAC level of 0.08 percent or more will be considered as driving under the influence of alcohol. He or she may be charged accordingly and if found guilty, will have to face severe consequences.
The penalties for drunk driving in Georgia include fines, possible prison sentences, and suspension of driver’s license for up to five years. Penalties largely depend upon the severity of the crime, that is if the accident caused an injury or death or was a repeat offense within a specified period of time.
For a first offense, drivers face up to a year in jail and a $300 minimum fine up to $1,000. A second offense within five years carries a minimum 48 hours in jail and a $600 minimum fine up to $1,000. For a third offense within five years of the second, drivers face mandatory 15 days in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 up to $5,000.
In addition to jail time and fines, drivers may also be made to undergo community service, complete a substance abuse program at his or her own expense, and/or have his or her name, photograph, and contact details published in the newspapers.
Legal Help for Drunken Driving Accident Victims in Atlanta
Meanwhile, victims of drunk driving accidents can file for personal injury damages. Seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer who can gather the requisite pieces of evidence and prepare a convincing case. Evidence could include the police report following the accident, evidence of the other driver’s impairment, as well as any documentation of injuries and damages sustained in the accident.
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. offers legal assistance to drunk driving accident victims in Atlanta and the surrounding area. We can be reached at (404) 474-0804 to set up a consultation.