March is Different Collisions month at Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group. We are taking a look at the different types of collisions where you should consult with a personal injury attorney, either because of the complexity of the legal issues involved or due to the severity of the injuries.
Personal injury cases involving DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) can be particularly difficult and complex. The non-impaired drivers and passengers tend to be more seriously injured than in other crashes, and also, the victims of drunk driving collisions have unique legal claims available to them. For these reasons, the case should be handled by an attorney.
To better understand Georgia’s laws against DUI, it is important to know how Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) can affect drivers. When a person consumes alcohol, the alcohol travels through the person’s stomach wall and small intestine. The alcohol then accumulates in the person’s bloodstream until it can be metabolized by their liver. While in the bloodstream, alcohol reduces a person’s brain functioning by impairing their thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination – all of which are needed for operating a vehicle. The more a person drinks, the higher their blood alcohol levels rise, and the greater their central nervous system is impaired. In Georgia, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of 0.08 (grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood) or higher, because it is at this point when a person’s “crash risk” increases exponentially.
Approximately 26% of Georgia’s roadway fatalities are DUI-associated. The state’s number of DUI fatalities rose from an average 301 in 2015 to 368 deaths in 2016. The DUI death rates are highest in Georgia’s urban areas, where restaurants and bars are the most prevalent: Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, Macon, Columbus, Athens, and Valdosta. DUI crashes typically take place between the hours of 10:00PM and 4:00AM. A majority of the intoxicated drivers tend to be men between the ages of 21 and 34 years old. Comparing Georgia’s DUI numbers to the national averages, about 1/3 of all U.S. traffic deaths involve a drunk driver. That equates to about 10,265 DUI related deaths every year, or one death every 51 minutes.
Victims of drunk driving collisions have unique legal claims available to them, as there is a potential for both a criminal and civil case. The impaired driver will likely face criminal charges because of their “reckless conduct.” As in all collisions, the injured party may also pursue a claim or eventually a lawsuit. Drunk driving crashes tend to be worse than collisions with non-impaired drivers because of the severity of the personal injuries and/or property damage. If you, or someone you know, has been in injured in a collision with a drunk driver call Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group at (404) 436-1529.
 Georgia DUI figures from the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia Office of Highway Safety, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving
 National DUI figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Mothers Against Drunk Driving