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Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Warn Against Drunk Drivers over the Weekend

A new study by the American Automobile Association shows just how concerned Atlanta car accident lawyers should be over the New Year’s weekend. According to the survey, approximately one in every 10 drivers drove under the influence of alcohol at least once over the past 12 months. This was even as 9 persons out of 10 in the survey agreed wholeheartedly that driving under the influence was a serious public safety hazard.

According to an analysis of data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 80 people a year die over the New Year’s Day holiday. That’s approximately 2 ½ times as many fatalities that occur on other days of the year in drunk driving accidents. In fact in 2009, there were a total of 79 alcohol-related accident fatalities across the country on New Year’s Day.

This year, the risks of being involved in an accident with an intoxicated motorist are likely to be much higher because New Year’s Eve also falls on Friday. The last time we had the New Year’s holiday on Saturday was in 2005, when a total of 90 people died in alcohol-related accidents. Georgia law enforcement agencies are bracing for a spike in alcohol-related crashes this year, as the New Year’s holiday combined with the weekend encourages reckless behavior.

The sad part about drunk driving accidents is that every death in alcohol-related crashes is entirely preventable. It’s not as if people aren’t aware of the dangers of driving under the influence. There are studies indicating that an overwhelming majority of Georgians and Americans are aware of the hazards of drunk driving.

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety warns drivers of the severe and cumulative penalties that will occur when an impaired driver is convicted.

First Offense

  • Possible jail time up to one year
  • Fine of $300 minimum, up to $1,000
  • License suspension of up to one year
  • 40 hours of community service, minimum mandatory
  • $210 license reinstatement fee

Second Offense Within Five Years Of First Offense

  • Minimum mandatory 48 hours in jail, possible 90 days to one year
  • Fine of $600 minimum, up to $1,000
  • License suspension of three years
  • Minimum 30 days community service
  • $210 set license reinstatement fee
  • A mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of a substance abuse
  • treatment program at the offender’s expense

Third Offense Within Five Years Of Second Offense

  • Minimum mandatory 15 days jail time
  • Fine of $1,000 minimum, up to $5,000
  • License revocation for five years
  • Minimum mandatory 30 days community service
  • Violator’s name, photo, and address published in local newspaper at violator’s expense
  • Declared as habitual violator, the license plate for his/her vehicle will be seized by the sent to the court and forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety
  • Face a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense

It simply makes no sense at all to drink and drive. Stay sober. If that’s not possible, use public transit, call for a taxi, or hitch a ride home.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like discuss your case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.