When a person gets behind the wheel while impaired by an intoxicating substance like alcohol, they are putting the welfare of other road users at risk. Driving while drunk in Georgia is dangerous and is considered a crime.
If you or somebody close to you has been the victim of a drunk driving accident in Decatur, GA, you have grounds to seek redress from the drunk driver. Driving while drunk is just reckless, and you shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of somebody else’s negligence.
The skilled Decatur drunk driving lawyers at the SHElaw firm can evaluate your case and give you a rundown of the legal options you have for seeking reimbursement. Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for your rights and ensuring that you receive the maximum possible compensation to help with your recovery process.
Drunk Driving Statistics in Georgia
Based on FBI information from 2018, the United States Drug Test Center reported that Georgia is placed 23rd overall with the most DUI arrests countrywide, recording 309 arrests for every 100,000 people.
The stats also indicate DUI Fatalities to be 3.3 per 100,000 individuals in Georgia. Impaired deaths involving underage drivers (below 21 years) stand at 17%. And DUI instances involving drivers over a BAC of 0.15 stands at 63%.
What Are the BAC Limits in Georgia?
BAC is an abbreviation for blood alcohol concentration/content. Legally, BAC denotes the quantitative alcohol (ethanol) amount in the bloodstream. Law enforcement uses this reading to establish whether an individual was driving a vehicle with an unlawful BAC.
So, what’s the alcohol limit in Georgia? The answer to this depends on the age of the driver and the kind of vehicle being operated. When you get behind the wheel after drinking, Georgia DUI laws have three limits on alcohol consumption for particular drivers being ‘DUI per se’ (over-the-legal-limit):
- Underage drivers (below 21 years old): 0.02 BAC limit
- Commercial vehicle drivers: 0.04 BAC limit
- For drivers aged 21 or over: 0.08 BAC limit
What to Do After an Accident With a Drunk Driver?
The first thing you should do following a drunk driving accident is to ensure that you and anybody else involved in the accident is in good health. If your injuries aren’t serious, you can take some steps to legally safeguard yourself from liability while still at the scene.
If you’ve been the victim of a drunk driving accident in Decatur, GA, we advise that you:
Contact the Police
Even if your injuries don’t warrant an ambulance, call 911 and inform the police of the accident. The accident report the police draft will be crucial evidence in your vehicle damage and personal injury claims. Wait for the police to arrive at the scene and then tell them your version of events.
Tell the Police You Suspect the Driver Is Drunk
Notify the officers that you suspect the other driver is drunk. Explain why you think they are under the influence, even if you aren’t 100% sure. Law enforcement agents have been trained to detect indications of drug use or intoxication and can run field sobriety or Breathalyzer test that corroborates your suspicions. If they fail the test, the driver may be apprehended and charged with DUI.
Record the Scene
Nearly everyone these days has a smartphone capable of recording video or taking pictures. So, document all damage caused to all the cars and record footage/pictures of the scene, along with the drunk driver clearly showing they are impaired. Also, take pictures of any injuries sustained including bruises and cuts.
Keep an Eye On the Other Driver
Drunk drivers usually attempt to discard implicating evidence, throw away drugs, bottles, or cups, or apply eye drops to whiten their already red eyes. Don’t interfere, but make sure to keep your device recording and capture any actions they take.
Talk to Witnesses
Witnesses present at the accident scene may have had an objective view of the incident and the driver’s mannerisms just before the accident. Ask them what they saw, and make sure to collect their contact info. Those witnesses can tilt the personal injury claim in your favor and see you get maximum compensation for damages and injuries suffered.
Call a Decatur Drunk Driving Lawyer
DUI accidents usually entail intricate evidence, and it’s not likely that the insurer will give you what your claim is actually worth. For this reason, if you’ve suffered serious property damage or sustained injuries, call the skilled drunk driving lawyers at the SHElaw firm to assist you to recover the damages suffered.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Drunk Driving Accident in Decatur, Georgia?
If you were the victim of a drunk driving accident, the damages you can expect to recover are contingent on the extent and nature of your injuries and how they have affected your personal life. Damages you can pursue include:
- Economic Damages: This includes losses associated with assets or money. E.g., lost wages, property damage, loss of earning capacity, medical expenses, etc.
- Non-Economic Damages: These losses are much more difficult to place a monetary value on. E.g., Emotional and mental anguish, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of consortium, etc.
- Punitive Damages: These damages are meant as a punishment and a deterrent to other would-be offenders. You can seek punitive damages if you can prove the driver acted with gross negligence or recklessness.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Georgia?
Georgia’s statute of limitations stipulates that you’ve got two years following a DUI-related accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the accident caused the wrongful death of a loved one, the 2-year timeframe begins on the date of the death. If the claim is against a government institution, the statute of limitations lessens to just 6 months.
How Much Will an Attorney Cost?
Our drunk driving accident attorneys at the SHElaw firm provide their legal expertise on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t charge any upfront fees or attorney fees. Rather, we take out a pre-agreed percentage from the settlement or compensation amount if we win the case. If we don’t secure compensation for you, you don’t pay us anything.
Consult With a Decatur Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Today!
If you or somebody close to you has fallen victim to a drunk driving accident, you should consult with a skilled Decatur drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys at the SHElaw firm have expansive experience representing and winning cases for victims of drunk driving in Decatur, GA. We will deal with the legal aspects of pursuing your compensation as you concentrate on getting better.
To learn more about how we can assist you with your claim, please call us at 470-378-1162 today to book a free consultation.