Key Things Georgia Motorists Should Know When Hit by an Intoxicated Driver
DUI is one of the most common causes of accident-related fatalities in the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia. Drivers impaired by an intoxicating substance like drugs or alcohol account for nearly a third of all driving fatalities in the U.S. annually. Although lawmakers and public safety advocacy groups have been aggressive about trying to keep intoxicated drivers off the road, drunken drivers claim the lives of approximately 10,000 people per year. Because drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol continue to be the most prominent factor in causing fatal car accidents, we have provided some key facts every Georgia motorist should know about drunk driving accidents.
How serious a problem are alcohol-related accidents?
A person dies at the hands of a drunken driver in the U.S. every 48 minutes according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency also reports that 31 percent of all motor vehicle-related fatalities are caused by drivers impaired by alcohol. This high cost in terms of human lives and serious injuries is accompanied by a financial cost of over 50 billion dollars per year.
Who are the most common victims that are injured or die in drunken driver accidents?
The risk of being involved in a collision in which alcohol is a factor is greatest for younger people. A third of all people who die in drunken driving car accidents are between the ages of 21 and 24 according to the CDC. Drivers between the ages of 25-34 are the next most likely to die in an accident involving an intoxicated driver. In terms of the types of vehicles involved in DUI accidents, it is hardly surprising that motorcyclists face the greatest risk because motorcycles often travel in blind spots, offer less stability than four-wheeled vehicles and provide no protection in a collision.
Are most drunken driving accidents caused by repeat offenders?
One of the tragic realities involving DUI-related accidents is that those who cause these accidents usually have a prior history of similar risky driving behavior. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers over the legal limit of .08 percent BAC who are involved in a fatal collision are four times more likely to have been convicted of DUI than drivers in fatal collisions with no alcohol in their system.
Does being under the influence of alcohol mean the intoxicated driver is liable for a collision?
While this is often the case, it is not an absolute rule. The reason that a driver’s intoxicated status will usually result in a driver being judged at fault is that alcohol impairment frequently will be the cause of poor driving. An alcohol impaired driver may not be liable if the driver’s insurance company can establish the driver did not cause the accident. An intoxicated driver, for example, may be T-boned in an intersection when a sober driver runs a red light. In this situation, the intoxicated driver may not be determined to have been the cause of injuries to the sober driver.
What should I do following an accident involving a driver I think is intoxicated?
While it is important after any motor vehicle collision to seek medical attention, gather evidence and consult an experienced personal injury attorney, you should also take an additional step if you believe the other driver in a collision is intoxicated. When you are interviewed by the police officer at the accident scene, you should inform the officer that you think the other driver may be intoxicated and indicate the basis for that belief. If the officer forces the other driver to submit to field sobriety tests and chemical testing of blood, this can provide persuasive evidence in a personal injury lawsuit.
Why Montlick & Associates?
The Georgia House of Representatives passed House Resolution 394 honoring Montlick & Associates for providing efficient, effective and dedicated services to the citizens of Georgia for 30 years. Montlick & Associates was also recognized for giving back to the community through its extensive public service programs. The firm is dedicated to its goal of being the best personal injury attorneys in Georgia.
Our experienced Atlanta auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to clients throughout Atlanta, all of Gerogia, and the Southeast. 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.