Potential Liability Imposed on Drunk Drivers Who Transport Kids in Georgia
This blog has recently addressed the danger intoxicated drivers pose to other vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists. The recent arrest of an Alpharetta City Councilman and attorney, Michael Cross, shows that DUI suspects can come from all walks of life.
While Cross has been arrested, this does not necessarily mean he is guilty of the offense. He refused field sobriety tests and blood alcohol testing because he claims the police officers had no probable cause. The police claim that Cross was pulled over for weaving across the road. The officer also indicated that Cross emitted the odor of alcohol on his breath. Because Cross refused chemical testing, he may face a one year suspension of his driver’s license if his arrest was lawful.
The most troubling aspect of this whole story is that Cross was transporting his 7-year-old son when he was stopped and arrested. Cross is contesting the allegations that he was driving drunk, but unfortunately many adults in Atlanta and throughout Georgia drive under the influence of alcohol with kids in the car. When motorists load kids into the car while under the influence of alcohol, kids are placed at an unreasonable risk of being injured in a DUI car accident. During a recent one year period, 211 children across the U.S. died in collisions involving drunken drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Over sixty percent of kids killed in these fatal collisions were riding with an intoxicated driver.
Alcohol-impaired drivers that are transporting children face both financial responsibility for injuries and criminal liability when they cause accidents because they are under the influence of alcohol. Cross has been charged not only with DUI but also improper child safety restraint and child endangerment. An intoxicated driver who violates traffic safety laws or otherwise drives unsafely may be subject to civil liability for injury to kids in the driver’s own vehicle as well as kids riding in other vehicles, walking or cycling.
When kids suffer serious injuries by drunken drivers, the impact on a child’s future can be devastating. The child may have permanent physical or mental disabilities that cause significant impairment of the child’s quality of life and that prevent participation in normal daily activities. In the case of traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, a child DUI accident victim may even need lifetime supportive care.
At Montlick and Associates, we have been firm advocates of driver safety for nearly thirty years. Our commitment to public safety is the impetus for our zealous advocacy on behalf of those injured by drunk drivers and our Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign that involves television messages and billboards.
If you or someone close to you is injured in a collision caused by an intoxicated driver or a loved one dies, the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.