Do Drunk Driving Accidents Increase in the Summer Months?

The summer is fully underway, with many of us spending time with families and friends enjoying vacations, travelling to the beach, graduation parties, or other fun celebrations. With all the free time and excitement, it is not uncommon for people to relax with drink, but there are those that are irresponsible and partake in drunk driving, making the summer season the most dangerous time of year with driving under the influence (DUI) car accidents.

The summer has some of the most celebrated and popular holidays: Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. With millions of travelers packing the roads during these holidays and the weeks leading up, the chances of getting into a car accident is already increased. Combining that with alcohol consumption, it is no wonder that the summer season is so dangerous with drunk drivers. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes during the months of May, June, and July than any other time of the year. Additionally:

  • The NHTSA found that the number of drunk driving accidents double during the summer months compared to all other months combined.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there is an average of 29 deaths in drunk driving accidents per day, or one death every 50 minutes.
  • The three of the five most dangerous holidays involving DUI fatalities are in the summer. The five holidays are: New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and Memorial Day. On Independence Day, you have a 78 percent higher-than-average risk to be killed in a drunk driving accident. For Labor Day and Memorial Day, you have a 54 percent and 50 percent higher-than-average risk, respectively.
  • The deadliest days of the week for DUI-related accidents occur on Saturday and Sunday, with Tuesday being the least dangerous. Almost 25 percent of weekly DUI accidents occur on Saturday, while Sunday sees 21.5 percent of DUI accidents. Sunday is second to Saturday, mainly because DUI accidents happen more frequently between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m.
  • The projected most dangerous week of 2022 is Independence Day week, where DUI accidents are expected to increase. The second most dangerous week of 2022 is projected to start on August 8th, with the third being the week before starting August 1st. This is because these are the weeks when summer travel is expected to be at its highest.
  • The NHTSA found that about 27 percent of drunk drivers are between the ages of 21 and 24, while males are more likely to drive drunk compared to females.
  • The months of June, July and August are also considered the most dangerous for teenage drivers, not only because of their inexperience behind the wheel, but because they also engage in underage drinking.

Protecting Yourself from Drunk Drivers

In order to protect yourself from drunk drivers, it may be helpful to understand what happens to the body when consuming alcohol, as well as recognizing who may be under the influence. Alcohol impairs judgement and can cause hazardous behavior behind the wheel. Even one drink can impair someone’s ability to drive, particularly their ability to multitask and stay focused. It can also reduce the ability to track moving objects or can lead to visual impairment. Alcohol consumption can also cause:

  • Decreased muscle control
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Slower thinking
  • Slurred speech

If you plan on travelling during the summer, here are a few tips to help protect yourself and your family from drunk drivers:

  • Wear your seat belt: Always wear your seat belt, even on short trips. Seat belts have repeatedly been proven to save lives in a crash, and is the best defense in any car accident, not just DUI-related accidents. Make sure that children are in their properly fitted car seat and that they are restrained fully. You and everyone else in your vehicle should be wearing their seatbelts no matter what.
  • Defensive driving: Defensive driving helps keep you and others safe, particularly if you suspect a driver nearby you is drunk. Keep your distance from their vehicle especially if they are swerving, and if they are driving aggressively, move to the right lane and let them pass you. If you notice a vehicle heading towards you, pull to the right and stop, honk your horn, and flash your lights to alert them.
  • Avoid driving at night: The majority of DUI-related accidents, as well as fatal crashes, happen at night, particularly between the hours of midnight and three a.m. With lower visibility, it is already difficult to drive safely at night, and with drunk drivers lurking about, the chances of an accident increase. Stay home at night whenever possible.
  • Be alert: Another aspect of defensive driving is being alert and trying to anticipate the moves of other drivers. Be extra cautious in areas where a drunk driver could make a mistake, such as at a stop sign or an intersection. Before crossing an intersection, make sure the way is clear even if you have the green, and if you do see someone approaching, be sure that they come to a stop before crossing.
  • Plan ahead: If you do decide to go out and have a few drinks, please do so responsibly and plan your way home ahead of time. Have a designated driver who is not drinking ready to go or use a taxi or a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft to get you home safely. Never assume someone who had even one drink is sober enough to drive home.
  • No distractions: Driving without distractions keeps you safe and your eyes on the road, especially at night when your attention needs to be on safety. Distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving and is a leading cause of car accidents in the country. Put your phone away and always keep your attention on the road.

Common Injuries Caused by Drunk Drivers

There is a myriad of injuries that a drunk driver can cause, some permanently disabling or even deadly. The most common DUI-related injuries include:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Burns
  • Crushing injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Death
  • Internal organ damage
  • Neck, back, and shoulder injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

If you have been in an accident involving a drunk driver, then it is likely that you have suffered any one of these injuries or more. You may be able to seek financial compensation by filing a lawsuit, which could cover:

  • Disability, disfigurement, or scarring
  • Lost wages and ability to earn income
  • Medical expenses, hospitalization, and treatments
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death

DUI Penalties in Georgia

There are many penalties you would face in the state of Georgia if you were charged with a DUI-related offense. Not only are they monetarily, but they could also be lifelong, especially if a drunk driving accident severely injured someone or took a life. Some potential penalties for a first DUI charge include:

  • One year probation
  • A minimum fine of up to $300, plus court costs
  • Between one to ten days in jail
  • 40 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Driver’s license suspension

A second or third DUI charge in Georgia can mean up to 36 months of probation, up to five years of driver’s license suspension, up to 12 months in jail, and other substantial penalties. Four-time DUI offenders face more severe penalties, such as felony charges, 10 years of suspended license, up to five years in prison, and more.

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Help Drunk Driving Victims Receive Compensation for their Damages

If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you may be entitled to further compensation. Contact our Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law today. Call us today at 912-754-6003 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. With our offices located in Springfield, Georgia, we proudly serve all clients of Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas.

What Happens if You Tamper with an Ignition Interlock Device?

In Georgia, having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle is a standard penalty for second and subsequent driving under the influence (DUI) convictions. IIDs are similar to breathalyzers, except they connect to the car’s ignition system. The driver must blow into the device before starting the car. If the IID detects any amount of alcohol, the car will not start.

Newer IID models require the driver to also blow into the device at certain intervals while driving. This idea is to prevent a driver from having a sober friend blow into the IID to help start the car.

Georgia drivers arrested for DUI have the option to request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing or install an IID on their vehicle. However, Georgia drivers that have been arrested for a second DUI within five years are required to install the device for 12 months.

There are two ways a person who is arrested for DUI in Georgia can lose their license:

  • Administrative Per Se: If you fail a breathalyzer test or refuse to take one, your license will be confiscated immediately. You will receive a 10-day temporary license from the arresting officer. During this period, you can request a hearing to challenge your suspension. If you do not request this hearing, or if your challenge is unsuccessful, your license will automatically be suspended for one year.
  • Judicial: This occurs when a Georgia court sentences you after a trial or plea agreement. Penalties include license suspension, jail time, and community service hours. Even if you are not convicted in the court of a DUI offense, your administrative suspension can still be in effect.

A driver who refuses a sobriety test or yields a BAC over the legal limit of .08 percent can choose to put an interlock ignition device on their vehicle. This is called a voluntary interlock. This voluntary interlock takes place before the case ever goes to court.

They must keep the device on their car for at least 12 months regardless of whether the case is dismissed, they are found not guilty, or the charge is reduced to reckless driving.

In cases where a driver refuses a sobriety test, and there is an automatic license suspension, an IID installation can allow them to drive for 12 months instead of losing their driver’s license for 12 months.

A driver convicted of DUI may also be required to receive clinical treatments or attend diversion and risk reduction programs as well.

Second DUI Convictions

If a person is arrested for a second DUI offense within five years of the first, they automatically receive a 120-day license suspension. After 120 days, they must have an IID installed on their vehicle for 12 months. They may be able to get a work-driving permit instead of losing all driving privileges with the IID.

Tampering

Georgia has strict laws about tampering with an IID, as follows:

a) It is unlawful for any person whose driving privilege is restricted pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 42-8-111 to request or solicit any other person to blow into an ignition interlock device or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing the person so restricted with an operable motor vehicle.

(b) It is unlawful for any person to blow into an ignition interlock device or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person whose driving privilege is restricted pursuant to subsection (a) of Code Section 42-8-111.

(c) It is unlawful to tamper with, or circumvent the operation of, an ignition interlock device.

Consequences of Tampering with an IID

If a person is convicted of tampering with an IID, they will be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. In most cases, a judge will require someone on probation who is caught tampering with an IID to finish their sentence in jail instead of at home. Another possible outcome is that the judge will extend how long the IID will need to remain on the vehicle. It is simply not worth tampering with an IID. And, if a friend who blows into the IID so you can start your vehicle is caught, they will face penalties as well.

What if an IID Registers Alcohol on my Breath?

Every person on probation for DUI is prohibited from consuming any alcohol. The IID does not measure blood alcohol level – it detects any amount of alcohol.

The driver’s probation officer has access to every sample provided on the IID. This record is printed out or downloaded for the probation officer’s review every 30 days in Georgia by law.

As noted previously, newer IIDs require a breath sample while driving to ensure that the person that provided the breath sample to start the car is the person still driving it. The device will log attempts to circumvent blowing into the device to start the car. These results will also be forwarded to the driver’s probation officer.

If the driver fails to provide a sample or tests positive for alcohol, the probation officer will likely file a petition to revoke some or all of their probation. A warrant will then be issued for their arrest, and they will be held until the hearing. Hearings can take up to 30 days, so the person will remain in jail until the hearing.

Can an Ignition Interlock Device be Wrong?

An IID rarely will report a false positive, but it can happen. An IID cannot tell the difference between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol. Ethyl alcohol, called ethanol, is created when fruits or grains are fermented to produce alcoholic drinks. It is present in beer, wine, and liquor. Isopropyl alcohol is found in mouthwash, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, and gels. If your vehicle has an IID, avoid consuming any food, mouthwash, or beverage for at least 20 minutes before blowing into it to get an accurate reading.

What are the Costs Associated with an IID?

If you must install an IID on your vehicle or choose to install one to avoid license suspension, there are fees to be aware of. Generally, you can count on a $100-$200 installation charge and monthly fees ranging from $70-$100. There are also costs for maintenance, calibration, and device removal.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a DUI Arrest?

It can be beneficial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a DUI arrest. They can assist you in many ways, including helping you to decide whether to install an IID on your vehicle or appeal to the Department of Drivers’ Services. They can also help you fight the charge if that makes the best sense for your situation. Many times, a lawyer can get a DUI charge reduced or possibly even thrown out.   

Impaired driving arrests are not always a slam dunk for law enforcement. There are many circumstances surrounding arrests that a lawyer can analyze. There could be improper processes and procedures or extenuating circumstances. Let a lawyer help reduce the charges or get them thrown out. An impaired driving charge is a social stigma and not a good thing to have on your record when seeking employment. It is wise to hire an experienced lawyer who can help fight the charges.

The Springfield DUI Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Defend Against DUI Charges

Not every DUI case is as cut-and-dried as it may seem. Our skilled Springfield DUI lawyers at Kicklighter Law can help. Contact us for a free consultation by calling us at 912-754-6003 or fill out our online form. We proudly serve residents in Springfield, Effingham County, Savannah, and surrounding areas from our office in Springfield, Georgia.

How Can I Avoid a Car Accident on St. Patrick’s Day?

On St. Patrick’s Day, people demonstrate their appreciation of all things Irish by wearing green, decorating their homes, and preparing a feast. It is also known as one of the most popular drinking holidays in the United States. Unfortunately, this leads to many motorists making irresponsible decisions, including drunk driving.

It should come as no surprise that there is an uptick in drunk driving car accidents on St. Patrick’s Day. According to data from WalletHub, over half of Americans celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in 2020. Over 60 percent of fatal St. Patrick’s Day accidents involve a drunk driver, and close to 70 percent of fatal St. Patrick’s Day car accidents occur between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

Like New Year’s Eve, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday where copious amounts of alcohol is readily available. People have a tendency to overdo it and then get behind the wheel of their car. While you cannot control how other people celebrate the holiday or the choices they make after they have had too many drinks, you can take proactive steps to make safety a priority and avoid a serious car accident. The following safety tips will help keep you safe on St. Patrick’s Day.

Contact a Rideshare Service

If you plan on going to a restaurant or bar on St. Patrick’s Day, it is highly recommended that you leave your car and your keys at home and get a ride with a rideshare service, like Uber or Lyft. That way, even if you do have a bit too much to drink, you will not need to worry about driving home drunk. In addition, the Uber or Lyft driver will be better able to minimize the risk of a car accident because they are sober and will have the coordination and reflexes necessary to avoid a car accident.

Use Public Transportation

If you live in a city, consider taking public transportation home after a night of celebratory drinking. This is often a much cheaper option than calling a rideshare service or taxi cab. In addition, it may be safer than Uber or Lyft, considering the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads.

Assign a Designated Driver

If you are going out with a group of friends, see if anyone in the group would be willing to stay sober and drive everyone home at the end of the night.

Go Out Early

Consider going to an early dinner or a happy hour instead of staying out until well past midnight, which is when the majority of drunk driving car accidents occur on St. Patrick’s Day. In addition to avoiding many of the intoxicated drivers, driving while it is still light outside also reduces the risk of getting into an accident.

Host a Party

Instead of going out to a crowded bar, consider hosting a party at your house. You can control the number of people who are invited and the amount of alcohol that is served. As the host, it is highly recommended that you hold on to the guests’ car keys. If anyone has had too much to drink, do not give them their keys. Encourage any guests who have had too much to drink to stay the night or help them arrange for a safe ride home by calling a rideshare service.

What Are Examples of Common Drunk Driving Injuries?

Car accidents that are caused by drunk driving often result in very serious, often fatal injuries for a number of reasons. When a motorist is drunk, they are more likely to speed, veer in and out of the lane, tailgate, or engage in other unsafe driving behaviors. This can cause very serious injuries, particularly if the motorist is traveling at a high speed at the time of the accident. The following are examples of the types of injuries that drunk driving car accidents can cause:

  • Broken bones, including wrists, arms, legs, and ribs.
  • Cuts, bruises, and lacerations.
  • Whiplash.
  • Chest and torso injuries.
  • Back and neck injuries.
  • Loss of limb.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident on St. Patrick’s Day?

Like any other car accident, it is crucial that you call 911 and report the accident, particularly if there are injuries involved. If you are physically able to do so, it is also very important that you collect as much evidence as possible, including pictures of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, and any debris on the road. Exchange information with the other motorist and contact your insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that insurance companies are in the business of making money so they will try to avoid a costly settlement. Finally, you are urged to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can walk you through the claims process. In addition, a car accident lawyer will make sure that your claim is filed within the state’s statute of limitations.

In the state of Georgia, there is a two-year deadline for filing a personal injury claim after a car accident, and a four-year deadline for property damage claims. If a claim is filed two years and one day after the date of the accident, the claim will most likely be denied. The process of filing a claim and collecting all of the necessary evidence can take time. Even if an initial settlement offer is made shortly after you file a claim, it may be a lowball offer, in which case your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to obtain the best possible offer.

It is also important to keep in mind that Georgia is a comparative negligence state. When it comes to collecting damages, the amount you will be able to collect will be reduced by the percentage that corresponds to your share of liability. For example, if you are hit by a drunk driver who had too much to drink after celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends but you were driving 40 miles per hour in a 25 miles per hour zone at the time of the accident, you may be liable for a percentage of the damages. In other words, if the damages totaled $10,000 and you are liable for 20 percent, you would be eligible for $8,000 in damages. However, if you share 50 percent or more of the fault, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule states that you will not be able to recover any damages.

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Drivers Injured in St. Patrick’s Day Car Accidents

Make sure to take safety precautions this St. Patrick’s Day, especially if you plan to go out for the night. Remember, other drivers may not be as responsible as you. If you have been seriously injured in a drunk driving car accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of the accident and ensure that the negligent party is held liable for their actions. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

How Can I Avoid a Car Accident After the Spring Time Change?

There has been an ongoing debate about whether daylight saving time (DST) is a tradition that should continue or if it an antiquated practice that should stop. It may seem like a minor event, but losing an hour of sleep can be dangerous. In fact, according to a number of studies, the time change in March can have a negative impact on the natural sleep cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm.

The time change in springs means that you are losing an hour of sleep. While this may not seem like a significant amount of time, that lost hour of sleep, combined with the fact that the sun rises later, means that there are more drivers on the road who are drowsy.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in addition to feeling tired, the time change in the spring can cause a range of health issues that can increase the risk of a serious car accident. For example, the research revealed a spike in heart attacks, strokes, workplace injuries, and other health issues in the days following the spring forward shift. All of these factors can contribute to a car accident as well.

The study analyzed 732,835 accidents that were recorded by the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System from 1996 to 2017. Researchers found a consistent increase in the number of fatal car accidents that occurred following the time change. In fact, the increase in car accidents was not limited to the Monday after the clocks were moved an hour ahead. The study found that there was a spike in car accidents during the entire week that followed the time shift. The research found that there was a six percent increase in accidents during the five days following the time change.

How Dangerous Is Drowsy Driving?

It is widely accepted that drunk driving is dangerous and can cause serious, even fatal car accidents. However, what many people do not realize is that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Sleep deprivation can have a similar impact on your coordination, balance, and ability to react to a potentially dangerous situation. Even an hour of lost sleep can disrupt your sleep pattern to the point where your quality of sleep is disrupted. The longer you go without getting the recommended number of hours of sleep, the more of an impact it will have on your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Studies show that being awake for 18 consecutive hours or more is comparable to having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.05 percent. If you go without sleep for 24 hours or more, it is equivalent to having a BAC of 0.10 percent.

What Steps Can I Take to Avoid a DST-Related Car Accident?

You may not be able to control the time change or how other motorists prepare for DST. However, you can take proactive steps to avoid some of the common hazards associated with DST.

The following are safety tips that can help you avoid a serious car accident in the days following the time shift:

  • Go to bed earlier. In the days leading up to the time change, go to bed approximately 15 minutes earlier than you would normally go to bed. This will give your body a chance to gradually acclimate to the time change. If you are unable to go to bed earlier, try to sleep an extra hour longer the next morning, or take a nap during the day on Sunday.
  • Adjust your other routines. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, in addition to going to bed earlier in the days leading up to the time change, it is recommended that you adjust the timing of other routines. For example, consider eating dinner a bit earlier than you would normally eat. If there are other nighttime rituals that you do, move them a bit earlier to cue your body that it is time to go to sleep.
  • Change your clocks in the early evening on Saturday. Rather than changing the clocks when you go to bed or waiting until exactly 2:00 a.m. when DST officially starts, consider changing the clocks in the early evening on Saturday, and go to bed at your regular time on Saturday and Sunday night. This will help you adjust to the one hour loss of sleep.
  • Work from home if possible. If you have the flexibility to be able to work from home the week following the DST time change, you are urged to take advantage of that and avoid being out on the road. The morning and evening commutes are when motorists are more likely to be exhausted and distracted.
  • Take breaks if you are driving a long distance. Long trips can be exhausting, particularly when you have not gotten enough sleep before the trip. If you plan to take a long road trip immediately following the time change, take rest breaks every two hours. If there is another experienced driver in the vehicle, share the driving responsibilities. If you are driving alone, it is important that you take regular breaks to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and give yourself a break from the monotony of driving.
  • Use your headlights. If it is dark outside when you are driving to or from work, make sure that you turn on your headlights so that other vehicles can see you. In addition, use your turn signals when appropriate and use extra caution when approaching an intersection or a crosswalk.
  • Do not tailgate. If you are driving too close to the vehicle in front of you and you are drowsy, you may not be able to slow down or stop in time to avoid hitting the vehicle. Always leave plenty of distance between your car and the other vehicles on the road.
  • Avoid distractions. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in this country. Motorists who are exhausted are also more easily distracted. The combination of drowsy driving and distracted driving can be devastating and even deadly. Keep your attention focused on the road at all times.
  • Watch for potholes. Unfortunately, potholes are a common road hazard during the winter and spring. When the water on the roads freezes, it causes the road’s surface to expand and shift. As it thaws, the fractures in the road develop into potholes. Depending on the size of the pothole, they can cause serious damage to your vehicle and increase the risk of an accident. When you are drowsy from losing an hour of sleep or not paying attention to the road ahead, you may not see the pothole until it is too late.
  • Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car. If you are driving to work when the sun is rising, extreme sun glare can impact your vision. Make sure that you always have a pair of sunglasses in the vehicle, preferably a pair that has polarized lenses, which help reduce sun glare better than non-polarized lenses.

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Advocate for Motorists Injured in Drowsy Driving Car Accidents Following the Time Change

If you become involved in a DST-related accident, our Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law can help. We will thoroughly review the details of your case, and our dedicated legal team will protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

What Are Common Defenses for Drunk Driving Charges?

While being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Georgia is a serious offense, cases are not all clear-cut. A DUI charge can dramatically affect a person’s life and reputation, even their employment. That is why anyone arrested for a DUI in Georgia should know that there are ways to beat the charge or get it reduced. A lawyer is the first line of defense after a DUI charge.

A skilled lawyer understands both the nuances of criminal law and the strict processes and procedures that must be followed for a DUI charge to stick. Many different things can happen in a DUI case, beginning with the minute a law enforcement officer stops a suspected drunk driver.

A person who has been charged with DUI has only 30 days from the time of their arrest to request an administrative license hearing or ignition interlock device. Otherwise, their license or privilege to drive in Georgia will be suspended without question. You should contact a lawyer immediately after a DUI arrest. They can begin preparing a case that could include challenging one or more of the following arguments.

Traffic Stop

DUI cases generally begin with a traffic stop. There are many ways an experienced lawyer can challenge the violation itself and the probable cause for stopping a vehicle. Without probable cause, there is no case.

Improper Lane Change

This is a common citation and is issued when a driver does not use a turn signal. However, in Georgia, a turn signal is required only when another car is approaching from the front or rear or whenever turning left or right. A turn signal may not have been required under the law.

Failure to Maintain Lane

A common offense in DUI situations, failure to maintain lane can be cited even if a driver barely touches a lane marker. This does not mean a person is impaired by drugs or alcohol. They could have been distracted by a passenger or some other reason.

Scope of the Traffic Stop

An officer cannot detain a person after a traffic stop or interrogate them or seek consent to search their vehicle without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. If they do, they have legally exceeded the scope of the traffic stop, and this is unlawful. Anything they might have found while illegally expanding the scope cannot be used as evidence.

Reasonable Suspicion to Stop

Law enforcement can only stop a vehicle when there is reasonable suspicion to stop them, and the officer must articulate the exact reason. A hunch or other unreasonable suspicions can easily be challenged in the courtroom.

Anonymous Tips

Sometimes, a driver will call 911 to report someone whom they feel is driving while impaired. An officer cannot stop a vehicle based only on a tip. They must substantiate the information before stopping the car. The same holds true for a concerned citizen’s report.

High Crime Area

Police will sometimes stop people in an area known for crimes, such as drug dealing. However, they cannot stop someone on this basis alone; they must have evidence of criminal activity before they can stop someone.

Road Blocks

There are strict protocols and procedures law enforcement officers must follow when running a roadblock. All vehicles must be stopped without discretion, and prolonged detention of a vehicle must be based on specific, articulable reasons. In addition, some officers may pull over a driver whom they believe is trying to avoid a roadblock. The stop may or may not be valid, depending on the suspicion causing the stop.

Probable Cause to Arrest

In Georgia, there must be reasonable belief that a driver is less safe due to alcohol or drug impairment to be a probable cause for arrest. Probable cause must be supported by observations and interaction, not by an officer’s hunch or belief.

Nonmoving Violation

Officers will sometimes pull drivers over for expired registration, a broken taillight, or other reasons that do not involve vehicle operation. In these cases, an officer must have credible evidence that the person is under the influence of drugs and alcohol to arrest the person without seeing how they are driving. This type of arrest can be challenged in court.

Who Was Driving

In a Georgia DUI case, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant was in actual physical control of a moving vehicle while under the influence. This might be difficult if the first encounter was not a direct traffic stop observable by the officer.

Physical Issues After an Accident

An officer may use slurred speech, confusion, bloodshot eyes, or other physical manifestations after a vehicle accident as a basis for a DUI arrest. However, these same symptoms can often be caused by the accident itself. A good lawyer can challenge this evidence.

Field Sobriety Tests

Substantial evidence can come from the results of field sobriety tests. However, sometimes, these tests are not administered correctly, rendering the results inadmissible as evidence. A lawyer can thoroughly investigate how these tests were conducted and whether the officer was fully trained.

Other challenges to field sobriety tests could include unreliable or unreasonable testing conditions, pressure by the officer to perform these voluntary tests, failure to read the Miranda warning, and medical conditions, age, or weight issues that could negatively influence test results.

Breathalyzer Tests

Georgia officers use an alco-sensor device to determine the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the traffic stop. The numerical results cannot be used as evidence. The officer can only say whether the result was positive or negative. Challenges to the alco-sensor test include the design and use of an approved device.

Illegal Pat-Down

An officer can only pat down a driver if they have a reasonable belief that the person is armed and presents a danger to themselves or other people. Pat-downs cannot be conducted as routine or as part of a policy. An illegal substance found after an unlawful pat-down may be exempt as evidence with the help of a skilled lawyer.

Vehicle Search

Federal and Georgia state governments both prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures. Officers must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to search or seize a vehicle. Evidence obtained illegally cannot be used in court. People should know that consent for any search is voluntary, despite an officer’s pressure or intimidation. It is always advisable for a person not to consent to a vehicle search.

Implied Consent Notice

Anyone arrested for DUI in Georgia must submit to chemical testing of their urine, blood, and breath. The arresting officer must read Georgia’s implied consent notice at the time of the arrest to request the test. If an officer misleads a person, reads the wrong consent notice, does not read the notice at the time of arrest, or does not follow strict protocols, test results may be inadmissible in court.

Chemical Testing

There are many challenges to chemical testing a skilled lawyer can present. From medical conditions to the actual testing room or equipment, results of urine, blood, and breath tests can be challenged by a skilled lawyer on many levels.

The above is not an exhaustive list of defenses to a DUI charge in Georgia. Every traffic stop is different.

What Is Considered Driving While Impaired in Georgia?

Under Georgia DUI laws, a person cannot drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle:

  • With a BAC level of 0.08 percent or greater. For those driving a commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is 0.04 percent or greater. Drivers under 21 years old have a BAC limit of 0.02 percent or greater.
  • While under the influence of any alcohol, drug, or controlled substance. Under the influence means that a person is considered less safe to drive.
  • With any amount of marijuana or illegal drugs in their blood or urine.

Effingham County DUI Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Defend Unlawful DUI Arrests in Georgia

Not every DUI case is clear-cut. There are extenuating circumstances that our Effingham County DUI lawyers at Kicklighter Law can scrutinize to get charges thrown out or reduced. If you need help after a DUI arrest, call us at 912-754-6003 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

How Do I Spot a Distracted Driver?

Despite the ongoing efforts to discourage drivers from engaging in distracted driving, far too many motorists do not think twice before making a phone call, reading a text, reaching for something in the back seat, or programming the navigation system while driving. Even if you make every effort to avoid distractions while driving, you cannot control other motorists’ behaviors. On any given day, you may see other drivers talking on the phone or sending texts when they should be paying attention to the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were 3,142 fatal distracted driving car accidents. If you know how to spot a distracted driver, you can take proactive steps to prevent a serious accident.

Certain types of unsafe driving behaviors are easy to spot. For example, you know a driver is speeding if the car whizzes past you and you are driving the speed limit. Tailgating is also easy to spot. Distracted driving is not always obvious at first. However, if you know some of the common signs to look for, you can take steps to avoid an accident. The following are behaviors that may indicate distracted driving:

  • Driving too fast or slow: Motorists who are distracted by a phone may not be paying enough attention to their speed and whether they are staying within the flow of traffic.
  • Unexpected speed changes: Slowing down or speeding up intermittently are also signs of distracted driving.
  • Weaving in and out of lanes: When a motorist is distracted, they are more likely to drift out of the lane.
  • Longer stops: When stopped at a red light, a distracted driver may not react promptly when the light turns green.
  • Running a red light or stop sign: Drivers who are particularly distracted may not notice that a traffic light has turned red or that they drove right through a stop sign. If another vehicle is coming from the other direction when the distracted driver runs a red light, this can cause a very serious car accident.
  • Seeing the driver’s eyes focused on something other than the road: If a motorist is looking down at their phone, this is an obvious example of distracted driving.

What Should I Do if I See a Distracted Driver?

If another motorist is showing any of the common signs of distracted driving, you are strongly urged to keep your distance and assume that the other driver does not see you. While you may be tempted to get their attention by pulling up next to the distracted driver’s car, it is not a good idea to engage with the other motorist.

If it appears that the driver’s behavior is particularly erratic or is endangering the lives of other motorists on the road, pull over to a safe spot and call 911 to report the driver. Take note of the license plate number, or if there is another passenger in your car, have them take a picture of the license plate or write it down on a piece of paper so that you can provide that information to dispatch.

How Serious Is Distracted Driving in Georgia?

Each year, there are approximately 344,000 car accidents in Georgia, most of which are distracted driving accidents that could have been prevented if the motorists were focusing on the road. The following statistics highlight how serious this problem is in Georgia:

  • Within the first three months after instituting the hand-free cell phone requirement, police officers wrote over 8,000 citations for using handheld devices and over 7,000 more citations in the three months that followed.
  • According to a study by TrueMotion, prior to Georgia’s hands-free law, motorists texted or used apps close to 20 percent of the time that they were driving.
  • Shortly after the law was passed, the incidence of talking on the phone while driving dropped by over 20 percent to 15.4 percent of total driving time.
  • A Constitution survey found that 45 percent of respondents said that they always obey the distracted driving law, and 40 percent said that they obeyed the law most of the time.

What Are the Three Categories of Distracted Driving?

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a motor’s attention away from the road. There are three categories of distracted driving:

  • Manual distractions: These are distractions that cause you to take one or both hands off the steering wheel. Examples of this type of distraction include eating, adjusting the radio or the temperature in the car, or reaching for something in your purse or in the back seat.
  • Visual distractions: These are distractions that cause you to look away from the road. Common examples include reading or sending a text message, making a phone call, or programming the vehicle’s navigation system.
  • Cognitive distractions: While these distractions do not involve taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road, they do cause your attention to drift off of the task of driving. Using a hands-free device, listening to the radio, or daydreaming are all examples of cognitive distractions.

What If I am Injured in a Distracted Driving Car Accident?

All motorists have a responsibility to make safety a top priority when they are behind the wheel. If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

In order to reach a successful outcome, you will need to prove that the other driver was distracted. Unlike drunk driving, distracted driving is more difficult to prove because there is no test to determine whether the motorist was distracted at the time of the accident. However, a skilled car accident lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, including obtaining copies of police reports, witness testimonies, and hiring an accident reconstructionist if necessary to demonstrate the other motorist’s unsafe driving behavior at the time of the crash. If you are able to take a picture of the accident scene, this also provides valuable evidence that can be used to help your case.

What Can I Do to Prevent Distracted Driving?

While you cannot control how other people drive, you can take proactive steps to avoid common distractions and keep your attention focused on the road. The following tips can help you avoid a distracted driving accident:

  • Put the phone away. If your phone is within reach, you may be tempted to answer a call or read a text message while you are driving. Your phone should only be used for emergencies, so it should be put away either in your purse or in the glove compartment. If you must make or accept a call, pull over to a safe spot. Even hands-free devices can be distracting.
  • Limit the number of passengers in the car. This is particularly true for newly licensed drivers who are more easily distracted when there are more people in the car.
  • Do not eat while driving. Oftentimes, people do not realize how distracting it is to eat while driving. However, since you are holding your food with one hand, eating is a manual distraction, and if you are looking down at your food before taking a bite, this is a visual distraction.
  • Avoid multitasking while driving. Even if you spend a significant amount of time in your car, you should not use that as an excuse to make phone calls, send or read text messages, or check social media. Take care of important business before you start driving and keep your attention focused on the road and the other motorists in the vicinity.

Springfield Car Accident Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Motorists Injured in Distracted Driving Accidents

If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, do not hesitate to contact one of our Springfield car accident lawyers at Kicklighter Law. These accidents are largely preventable if motorists keep their attention focused on the road. However, too many motorists are easily distracted. Our skilled legal team will determine who is responsible for your accident. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

In Georgia, you cannot refuse a breathalyzer test without facing legal penalties. Georgia is an implied consent law state. This means that anyone driving on a Georgia road has given implied consent to follow the orders and requests of police officers if the police officer has reasonable cause to believe you have been drinking.

However, this does not mean that you have no rights. It just means that if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you will be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI). If you have been charged with DUI, whether you took a breathalyzer test or not, you have rights worth protecting. To help you, speak with a lawyer right away.

What Is Implied Consent?

 If you have a Georgia driver’s license or a valid license from any other state and you are driving in Georgia, you have given the state implied consent that you will submit to a breathalyzer test if a police officer has reasonable cause to believe you have been drinking. Can you refuse? Yes, but you will face consequences. If the police officer believes they have a strong reasonable suspicion that you are above the legal limit, they can arrest you and charge you with DUI, even though you have not taken a breathalyzer test.

Under Georgia law, you also do not have a right to consult with a lawyer until after you have been arrested. Since you are not under arrest and because Georgia courts have held that the decision to take a breathalyzer test is not a critical stage of the criminal process, you do not have the right to a lawyer. Only after you have been arrested do you have the absolute right to legal counsel.

What Are the Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?

If you refuse the breathalyzer test, you can be arrested and charged with DUI. This is one of the mandatory penalties under Georgia law that you will face if you do not follow the officer’s request.

You will also lose your driver’s license. You will receive a thirty-day permit allowing you to drive. During that time, you must request a hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. If you do not, you will lose your license for one year. The length of this suspension grows with every subsequent DUI charge.

When you get pulled over for suspected impaired driving, the police officer may request that you take a breathalyzer test. If you refuse, before arresting you and charging you with a DUI, the police officer must inform you of the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer. Georgia law requires officers to inform people because most are not aware of the penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test.

If the police officer does not inform you of the penalties under Georgia law, you may have a valid reason to challenge the penalties that happened after you refused a breathalyzer. This could mean that the DUI charge and arrest could be thrown out and your driver’s license could be reinstated at the hearing.

However, to ensure your rights are protected, you must have a trusted legal advocate working with you. Going through this process is not simple and requires deep knowledge of the legal system and relevant Georgia laws.

A Changing Standard

Recently, the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that a driver’s refusal to take a breathalyzer test cannot be used against them. Prior to this ruling, if you refused to take a breathalyzer test, that fact could be used against you in court to add to the evidence showing that you were driving drunk. Today, however, that can no longer happen.

This does not mean that if you refuse a breathalyzer test after a police officer pulls you over that you suddenly get to drive away. In many cases, a breathalyzer test is the final step a police officer takes before making an arrest. Prior to that, the police officer will probably ask a driver to walk a straight line, count backwards, say the alphabet, and do other field sobriety tests approved by law enforcement.

Similarly, this new standard does not remove Georgia’s implied consent law. By driving on Georgia roads, all drivers give their implied consent to being pulled over and questioned, including the use of field sobriety tests. These measures help to keep everyone on Georgia roadways safe. However, your refusal to take a breathalyzer test will not prevent you from getting arrested and charged with DUI if the police officer has reasonable cause. If you do not voluntarily consent to a breathalyzer test, you can still be arrested and charged with DUI under Georgia law.

Independent Testing

You have the right to request an independent test at your own expense, but you can only request an independent test if you did not refuse the test from the police officer. In other words, there has to be a test comparison, but the tests do not have to be identical. You can submit to a breathalyzer test at the scene but can have a blood test done at your expense.

The arresting police officer must allow you to get an independent test. Your request must be reasonable. A request for an independent test may be reasonable if:

  • You have the ability to pay for the independent test.
  • The location of the facility you selected for your test was nearby.
  • The police did not delay giving you access to an independent test.

Since alcohol runs through the body fairly quickly, time is of the essence so any blocking by the officer could give you additional support to toss out your DUI arrest. If the police officer did not allow you the ability to have an independent test done in a reasonable amount of time, your lawyer may be able to get the breathalyzer test removed from evidence.

It is critical to have a lawyer if you have been arrested for DUI. Navigating the legal process requires a keen eye for detail and an intimate understanding of Georgia’s DUI laws. This is not something to handle on your own, especially when you could lose your right to drive for a minimum of one year.

A skilled Georgia lawyer will be able to tell quickly if the laws and processes were followed. If not, that can be a quick route to reducing or eliminating the charges against you. Not only does this save you the hassle and embarrassment of a DUI charge, but it also ensures that your driver’s license remains intact, and you have the ability to drive to and from work and all your other important life events.

There are many ways the police could have violated your rights during the field sobriety test and DUI arrest. The only way to know for sure what rights have been violated and how to take action to protect yourself is by partnering with a trusted lawyer.

Effingham County DUI Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Will Protect Your Rights After a DUI Arrest

A DUI charge can lead to a possible license suspension, leaving you without a way to get to work. To make sure your rights are protected, speak with our Effingham County DUI lawyers at Kicklighter Law. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at 912-754-6003 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.

Can I Still Get a DUI Charge After Passing a Field Sobriety Test?

Seeing a police car’s flashing lights behind you is a stressful experience. If you are on your way home from a night out with friends and you had a couple of drinks, getting pulled over means that the officer will probably ask if you have been drinking. They may ask you to take a breathalyzer test and perform a field sobriety test. Given that you only had one or two drinks, you may feel confident that the breathalyzer test will show that your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is well below the legal limit. However, even if you pass the field sobriety test, the police officer can still arrest you if they suspect that you were driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. 

Just because you were arrested, that does not mean that you do not have rights. If you were arrested for driving while impaired after passing a field sobriety test, you are urged to contact a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. 

What Are the Components of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test?

Field sobriety tests are used by law enforcement officials to determine whether a motorist is driving while impaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed the standard field sobriety test, which includes the following components:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: Police officers use this test to look for nystagmus, which is a condition that causes involuntary movement in the eyes. It is often an indication of alcohol or drug impairment. The officer tests for nystagmus by holding up a pen or light and asking the motorist to track the movement as the officer moves it across their field of vision.
  • One-leg stand test: The motorist who is pulled over will be told to stand with one leg off the ground and count to a certain number. This is a split-action test, which involves having to perform two actions at once.
  • Walk-and-turn test: This is another example of a split-action test. The motorist is instructed to walk in a straight line, heel-to-toe, then turn around and walk the same straight line. In some cases, the officer will tell the motorist to count their steps as they walk.

How Accurate Are Field Sobriety Tests?

When administered together, these field sobriety tests help officers predict whether a motorist has a BAC level at or above 0.10 percent. However, these tests are essentially coordination exercises, and even the slightest balance check or hesitation will be used against the driver, despite the fact that they may be simply nervous. 

There are some motorists who have naturally occurring nystagmus, as well as certain head and eye conditions that make the horizontal gaze nystagmus test irrelevant. The walk-and-turn test can be very difficult for elderly drivers or people who are overweight. In addition, if the motorist walks in a regular stride instead of heel-to-toe or turns around too early, the officer may mark that as a sign of intoxication. The one-leg stand test can be difficult under any circumstances, particularly when the motorist is nervous. However, elderly drivers and overweight motorists often find it very difficult to stand on one foot for 30 seconds. 

Other tests, like telling the motorist to recite the alphabet backwards, have not been validated to prove that a motorist is under the influence of alcohol. Yet, police officers continue to use these unfair testing methods. 

Can I Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

Not only do you have the right to refuse a field sobriety test, but many lawyers recommend that you do so since they are not considered an objective measurement of impairment. In fact, some believe that the tests are set up to make you fail. Poor weather conditions, uneven roadways, and physical or mental health conditions can cause you to perform poorly on the field sobriety test, even if you did not consume any alcohol. 

Police officers often use field sobriety tests to provide probable cause to test your breath, blood, or urine for alcohol. From the moment you roll down the window, they will be looking for intoxication clues. If the officer asks you to perform a field sobriety test, they must make it clear that it is voluntary and that you have the right to refuse. Oftentimes, police will use coercive language or suggest that it is in your best interest to perform the field sobriety test. This is simply not the case. If you do refuse to take the test, do so in a way that is respectful and polite. 

If you were given a field sobriety test and the officer believes that there is enough evidence to suggest that you are under the influence, they may request that you take a preliminary breath test. This test is also optional. However, if you refuse to take the test, the officer may detain you and take you to the police station where you will be asked to take a more accurate non-roadside chemical test. In addition, refusing to take the roadside test may result in stiff penalties, including an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Generally speaking, it is not in your best interest to refuse the non-roadside chemical tests.

How Accurate Is a Breathalyzer Test?

In addition to the field sobriety tests, police officers also use a breathalyzer device to obtain a preliminary alcohol evaluation. This test is not as accurate as the breath chemical testing machines that are done at the police station. However, if the results of the breathalyzer test suggest that your BAC level is above the legal limit, you may be arrested and brought to the station for a more accurate chemical test. 

Even if you tested below the legal limit, it does not necessarily mean that you are off the hook. In Georgia, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08 percent for adult drivers who are not operating a commercial motor vehicle. However, you can still be arrested for impaired driving with a BAC level of 0.02 percent if the police officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs, which are not detected by standard breathalyzer tests.

In addition to being less accurate than a blood test, there are a number of factors that can produce a false positive with a breath test, including the following:

  • You recently used mouthwash or a breath freshener.
  • You ate food that was cooked in wine or some other type of alcohol.
  • You take certain medications, including those that are administered with an inhaler.
  • You took an over-the-counter medicine, like cough syrup.
  • If you work with certain chemicals, like paint, varnish, lacquer, or cleaning fluids, you may retain chemical fumes in your breath that can produce a false positive breath test.
  • Certain health conditions can produce a false positive result. For example, diabetes can produce elevated acetone levels, and breathalyzers cannot distinguish between acetone and ethyl alcohol. 

How Can a DUI Lawyer Help Me With My Case?

It is important to understand that you have rights, whether you passed a field sobriety test or not. A dedicated lawyer will determine whether the police officer had sufficient grounds to pull you over for driving while impaired by alcohol and whether they administered the field sobriety test correctly according to NHTSA guidelines. Police vehicles are usually equipped with video cameras on their dashboards, which record officers administering a field sobriety test. A lawyer will be able to obtain these tapes, which can be extremely valuable to the case if the driver performed well on the test. 

In addition, a skilled lawyer will highlight the fact that there is little science to validate the effectiveness of field sobriety tests. Oftentimes, your lawyer can actually use the results of the field sobriety test in your favor. For example, if the police officer arrested you because you failed the one-leg stand test and you had a borderline BAC but you passed the other tests, your lawyer will argue that the testing is flawed. This can help establish reasonable doubt. 

Springfield DUI Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Assist Clients Facing DUI Charges

If you were arrested for impaired driving after passing a field sobriety test, do not hesitate to contact our Springfield DUI lawyers at Kicklighter Law. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. We are located in Springfield, Georgia, and we serve clients throughout Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas. 

Steps to Follow After a DUI Accident in Chatham County

Home » Drunk Driving

Each year, drunk driving accidents claim thousands of lives across America. Although driving intoxicated is illegal, people still drive under the influence and establishments still serve obviously intoxicated people. If you were in a DUI accident, it’s important to take certain steps immediately after the accident. Consider the following:

  1. Call the Police

    No matter what other people say or what situation you’re in, it’s vital to call the police immediately following a drunk driving accident. They will arrive within minutes and will be able to help you and arrest the drunk driver.

  2. Seek Medical Attention

    When a car accident occurs, there are thousands of pounds of metal and plastic crashing together. Our bodies weren’t made to withstand such a powerful collision without consequences. That’s why it’s imperative to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel fine, seek out the advice from a medical professional. Your doctor will make sure that you don’t have any medical issues that may cause problems in the future.

  3. Take Photos of the Accident

    If you’re able, take pictures of the DUI accident scene, your vehicle, the drunk driver’s vehicle, and anything else related to the accident. Due to the millions of people traveling on Georgia roadways, car accidents must be cleaned up and moved to the side as fast as possible. Unfortunately, this causes important evidence to be swept aside. By taking photos, you are preserving the truth behind the accident.

  4. Ask Witnesses to Remain at the Scene

    Whether or not there are cameras near the DUI accident scene, it’s important to ask witnesses to remain at the scene until the police arrive. These witnesses can solidify your case by telling the police what happened from their perspectives. If possible, write down their names and phone numbers in case they are needed in the future.

Contact the Kicklighter Law team at 912-754-6003 
to schedule a free consultation!

Reach Out to an Attorney

If you are the victim of a drunk driving accident, we encourage you to seek legal action. By involving the law, you are not only seeking compensation and justice, but you are also contributing to a safer community by demanding consequences. The Kicklighter attorneys have extensive experience fighting for victims of a drunk driving accident. We want to make our community a safer place, and we do that through bringing drunk drivers and alcohol-serving establishments to justice.

Contact us today if you’ve been in a drunk driving accident.

Understanding Georgia’s Dram Shop Laws & Drunk Driving

Home » Drunk Driving

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is referred to as the 100 Deadliest Days, as there is a major increase in car accident fatalities. One major factor contributing to these fatalities is people who drive under the influence of alcohol of drugs. If a drunk driver is on the road, his reaction time is drastically reduced, and he will likely make poor driving decisions. These negligent choices often result in drunk driving accidents and possibly serious injuries or death. Your car accident attorney will consider several factors, such as Georgia’s Dram Shop Laws and consequences for drunk driving in Georgia, while pursuing maximum compensation for you. Allow us to explain:

Georgia’s Dram Shop Laws

Georgia’s Dram Shop Laws allow the injured plaintiff to file a claim against an establishment or bartender who is responsible for over-serving the defendant. For example, if a bartender continues to serve an obviously intoxicated person alcohol and that person leaves the restaurant and hits another vehicle, the injured party can sue the establishment and/or bartender for negligence as well as the drunk driver.  

Pursuing compensation under Georgia’s Dram Shop Laws holds dualistic importance. First, the establishment and/or bartender that is convicted must deal with court-ordered consequences such as a fine or loss of liquor license. These consequences will hopefully force the establishment to become stricter with serving alcohol to intoxicated customers. Second, your car accident attorney will use these Laws to pursue maximum compensation from the establishment and/or bartender and the defendant.

Drunk Driving in Georgia

In Georgia, if you’re convicted of drunk driving, you may face jailtime, community service orders, fines, points on your license, license suspension, and other consequences. The details of the consequences are determined by your judge, what number offense this incident was, your age, and more.

Contact the Kicklighter Law team at 912-754-6003 
to schedule a free consultation!

Involved in a Drunk Driving accident? Contact the Springfield Drunk Driving Attorneys at Kicklighter Law

Our team will fiercely represent our clients and pursue maximum compensation from the defendant and establishment and/or bartender. We aim to make Georgia roads safer by being a force in the legal realm, making it known that driving under the influence has serious consequences. If you’ve been injured in a drunk driving accident, call us right away: 912-754-6003

Kicklighter Law

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Springfield, GA 31329

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