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DUI Accident Attorneys Serving
Lavonia & Hartwell, Georgia

On the Side of Everyday Drivers & Passengers

Though today most Americans know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and a crime, according to government statistics one out of three traffic fatalities involves drunk drivers. In Georgia alone, nearly 3,700 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers between 2003 and 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you have been injured by a drunk driver and they’ve been apprehended, they will be facing criminal charges imposed by the court. However, you as a victim are entitled to seek financial compensation through filing a civil claim. At Berelc Law Firm, our Lavonia DUI accident attorneys are on the side of everyday people and believe you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. We can help you file a claim and protect your rights.

Contact us online for a free consultation regarding your accident and injuries. We offer compassionate client service and aggressive advocacy when it comes to pursuing justice for you.

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Is Being High or on Prescription Medications
the Same as Drunk Driving?

Most people associate drunk driving with the consumption of beer, liquor, or other types of alcoholic beverages, but being high on any drug can be considered driving under the influence, too. Under Georgia law, the terminology used is “driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated,” which can also be applied to being under the influence of marijuana.

Intoxicated driving also applies to driving while on prescription medication. Though legal to use and prescribed by your doctor, certain medications produce drowsy effects and should not be taken before driving. Drivers found to have taken fatigue-inducing medication can be held accountable for negligence in an accident.

Dangers of Drunk Driving

Though states set their own terms for what is considered drunk driving, any amount of alcohol in your bloodstream can impact your driving ability. Drivers are expected to be alert and focused at all times, as they owe a duty of reasonable care to everyone on the road. Alcohol affects people’s ability to concentrate and make good judgments.

Some dangers of drunk driving include:

  • Slow reaction times: Alcohol slows a person’s response time, which is dangerous for drivers, as they need to be ready to respond to any sudden road hazard or emergency. If a car in front suddenly slams on their brakes, a drunk driver may not respond in time before colliding with the car.

  • Reduced concentration: Drunk driving often involves distracted driving. Alcohol dramatically reduces a person’s attention span, meaning the driver may not be paying attention to important traffic signals or realize how fast they’re driving.

  • Lack of coordination: Drinking impacts a person’s eye, hand, and foot coordination, all of which are necessary when driving. Drunk drivers may not be able to locate their blinkers, turn on their headlights, or safely make turns.

  • Poor judgment: Alcohol inhibits judgment. Drunk drivers may not be able to make clear and safe decisions when on the road. For example, drivers may see a yellow light as an opportunity to speed through an intersection, rather than as a warning to slow down.

Damages Our Team Can Recover

Prompt notification will allow us to more effectively investigate the accident scene, speak with witnesses while the accident is still fresh in their memory, and review your medical prognosis to pursue an accurate claim for damages.

In Georgia, drivers are considered to be driving while intoxicated (DUI) if they have a BAC of 0.08% or higher. The threshold is even lower for certain populations. Specifically, the limit is 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21 and 0.04% for drivers of commercial vehicles. DUI is a crime and can be punished through fines, jail time, and license revocation.

Additionally, those hurt by drunk drivers can file civil claims seeking compensation for damages such as:

  • Pain and suffering

  • Car repairs

  • Disability

  • Disfigurement

  • Emotional distress

  • Loss of opportunity to enjoy life

  • Wrongful death

  • Medical bills

  • Loss of current and future income

Evidence that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol at the time he caused an automobile collision is admissible as tending to show “willful misconduct, wantonness, and that entire want of care which raises the presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences.” This subjects the driver to be sued for punitive damages.

Furthermore, a claim may be pursued against the drinking establishment that provided the alcohol to the driver. You may recover damages against a provider of alcohol if we prove that the provider knowingly sells alcohol to a person that is noticeably intoxicated and knows that person is driving.

Hiring an attorney quickly after the accident can be pivotal to preserving the evidence needed for your case. If you have been the victim of a DUI accident, we can help you fight for the compensation you need to aid in recovery.

To schedule a free consultation, call our Lavonia DUI accident attorneys. Our team accepts cases on a contingent-fee basis – we don’t win until you do.