Georgia state law has already implemented a number of severe penalties for individuals who drive under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Consequences for a standard first time DUI can be severe and may include:
- Fines up to $1,000
- Collateral expenses
- Up to one year imprisonment
- Community service
- Mandatory drug or alcohol treatment
- Driver’s license suspensions
When aggravating circumstances are involved, the penalties can intensify considerably. A few examples of the aggravating circumstances that can result in heightened charges and penalties in Georgia include:
- Multiple DUI convictions
- DUIs involving hit and run accidents
- DUIs that cause injury or death
- DUIs involving a minor passenger
What is Serious Injury by Vehicle?
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), motorists who cause serious injury while driving under the influence will be prosecuted with a specific criminal offense known as serious injury by vehicle, according to § 40-6-294 of the O.G.C.A. As defined by Georgia law, an individual is guilty of serious injury by vehicle if they are driving under the influence and cause bodily harm to another by:
- Depriving another of a member of their body;
- Rendering a member of another's body useless, including causing paralysis;
- Causing serious disfigurement; or
- Causing organic brain damage.
Simply put, accidents that result in serious or catastrophic, injuries will often be grounds for this elevated charge. Injuries also do not need to be permanent in order for prosecutors to charge a driver with this offense. Serious injury by vehicle is considered a felony offense and is punishable by a minimum of one year imprisonment and a maximum of 15 years, depending on the circumstances. Certain factors may intensify penalties and increase terms of imprisonment, including high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels and prior DUI convictions.
Accused of Serious Injury By Vehicle? Call Today.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a DUI accident that resulted in a serious injury, your rights and future are at risk. As such, it is of the utmost importance that you take swift action to work with a seasoned Atlanta DUI defense lawyer who has the skills and resources to protect your freedom and future. We are prepared to represent clients during all aspects of their case, including criminal proceedings and Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearings.