In Georgia, DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence,” which refers to the offense of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Legal Definition of DUI in Georgia

The legal definition of DUI in Georgia is outlined in the Georgia Code, specifically in Section 40-6-391. According to Georgia law, a person is considered to be driving under the influence if they are operating a motor vehicle while:

  • Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher for drivers aged 21 and over.
  • Having a BAC of 0.04% or higher for drivers operating commercial vehicles.
  • Having any amount of alcohol or drugs in their system that impairs their ability to drive safely.

In Georgia, DUI laws apply not only to alcohol but also to drugs, including prescription medications, illegal drugs, and over-the-counter medications that impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Consequences of a DUI

A DUI in Georgia can have serious legal consequences for the driver, including criminal charges and being found at fault in a car accident claim.

Criminal Charges

A DUI offense in Georgia is considered a criminal offense, punishable by fines, license suspension, probation, community service, mandatory DUI education programs, and even jail time. The severity of the penalties may vary depending on factors such as the driver’s BAC level, prior DUI convictions, and whether the accident resulted in injuries or fatalities.

Civil Liability

In addition to facing criminal charges, drivers who cause car accidents while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may also be held liable for civil damages in personal injury lawsuits. Driving under the influence is considered negligent, meaning the driver can be held responsible for causing an accident.

Victims of DUI-related accidents have the right to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

Comparative Negligence

Georgia follows a comparative negligence system, which means that multiple parties involved in an accident may share responsibility. You must be less than 50% at fault to be eligible for compensation. Judges and juries are likely to place most of the blame for an accident on a driver who is guilty of DUI, meaning that he or she would be barred from recovering damages.

Punitive Damages

In cases involving DUI-related accidents, courts in Georgia may award punitive damages to punish the at-fault driver for their egregious conduct and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages are intended to serve as a deterrent and may be awarded in addition to compensatory damages awarded to the injured parties.

Insurance Implications

Drivers who are convicted of DUI offenses may face significant increases in their auto insurance premiums or may have difficulty obtaining coverage altogether. Insurance companies view DUI convictions as high-risk behavior and may impose higher premiums or impose coverage restrictions on drivers with a history of DUI offenses.

Car Accident Lawyers Help DUI Accident Victims

DUI-related car accidents can have devastating consequences, leaving victims struggling with expensive medicals, severe injuries, and emotional distress. Victims of DUI-related accidents have the right to pursue compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

After an accident with an intoxicated driver, it is essential to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney who specializes in personal injury law. A car accident lawyer can help victims navigate the legal process, gather evidence to support their claims, negotiate with insurance companies, and pursue maximum compensation for their injuries and damages.

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