DUI is short for Driving Under the Influence. It is used in the context of the criminal charge for DUI or OWI (“Operating While Intoxicated”).
Driving and driving is illegal in Georgia, just like every other state across the country. Generally, an adult who has a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more can be convicted of a DUI. There are different “legal limits” for some types of drivers.
DUIs in Georgia come with a wide range of penalties and fines that vary based on how many DUIs you have had in the past. First offenders, for example, will face jail time between 24 hours and one year. Fines are assessed that vary between $300 and $1,000. Your license may also be suspended for up to one year. The penalties increase after one DUI conviction.
DUIs Not Based on Alcohol
Although most DUIs are based on the amount of alcohol someone has consumed, there are other substances that can cause impaired driving. Georgia law is broad enough to cover these substances as well. Some examples include:
- Any illegal or controlled substance, including marijuana and cocaine
- Prescription drugs, even if they used properly in some situations
- Prescription drugs that don’t belong to the driver or are being used incorrectly or abused
- Any combination of drugs and alcohol
If a substance impairs your ability to drive in any way, then that can lead to a DUI charge and conviction. This is true even if you are using your prescriptions as you should–in most cases, there is a warning on the prescription that you should not drive while taking the medication. If a driver takes the medication and then drives, especially when they know they shouldn’t, that can also lead to a DUI charge (and civil liability if they cause a crash).
DUI Convictions and Personal Injury Cases
Drivers can certainly be pulled over, charged, and convicted with DUI without causing any damage. But, driving while drunk causes you to drive impaired–your judgment is poor, your vision declines, your reaction time slows, and you often just act carelessly. That type of carelessness can lead to drunk driving accidents. When it does, civil liability for any damages or injuries that the driver causes can result.
In a car accident case, the victim has to prove four basic facts:
- The driver that a duty to them
- That duty was breached or violated
- The breach caused the crash
- The crash resulted in damages or injuries
Every driver has a duty to others on the road to operate their vehicle in a safe way. When someone gets behind the wheel drunk, they have already violated that duty even before they pull out of a parking lot.
In many situations, if the other driver was convicted of a DUI before you start your personal injury case, that can make your personal injury case easier to prove and win. John Foy & Associates can help you gather the information and evidence you need to make this type of argument. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form and get your FREE consultation today.