When a drunk person gets behind the wheel in Stockbridge, they put themselves and everyone else on the road in danger. Drinking and driving is a huge problem that can lead to serious injuries or death. If you were the victim of a drunk driving accident in Stockbridge, one of your first actions should be contacting a lawyer who can help.
Since being “under the influence” means you’re impaired from driving as you normally would, drunk driving can lead to reckless and erratic driving, speeding, swerving, and other extremely unsafe practices on the road. Our drunk driving accident lawyers understand just how painful this can be for those who are harmed in the accident. We can help you seek financial recovery for your damages—starting with a FREE consultation.
To schedule your FREE consultation and discuss your accident today, call us at 404-800-7053 or contact us online.
What Counts as “Drunk Driving” in Stockbridge
In Georgia, most people are considered to be a drunk driver if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This number is even lower in some situations, such as for commercial drivers (0.04% or higher) and underage drivers (0.02% or higher).
However, alcohol is not the only substance that can leave a driver impaired. Someone can be “under the influence” from marijuana, illegal drugs, or any other controlled substances. This is also true to certain over-the-counter or prescription medications if they cause drowsiness, dizziness, or some other symptom that can affect your ability to drive safely.
Penalties for Drunk Driving
If the driver is found to have been under the influence of alcohol or another substance during your accident, they will face penalties for driving under the influence (DUI). The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety lists the impaired driving penalties for first, second, and third offenses for drunk driving.
The other driver can face penalties like:
- License suspension or revocation
- Jail time
- Fines ranging from $300 to $5,000
- Community service hours
- License reinstatement fees
- Mandatory clinical evaluations and substance abuse treatment programs
If the at-fault driver is convicted of DUI, it can really help your case because there may be clear evidence that the driver was impaired at the time of your accident. In this situation, you should speak to your Stockbridge drunk driving accident lawyer immediately to discuss your options.
How to Prove the Other Driver Was Drunk in the Accident
To file a personal injury claim for your damages after an auto accident, you will need evidence that the other driver was at fault for the crash. That means demonstrating how their actions (or lack of actions) led to the accident.
In a drunk driving accident, the driver’s intoxication is usually to blame for a collision. Since alcohol is a depressant that slows down and impairs the central nervous system, it can greatly affect the driver’s abilities when operating a vehicle. The driver will have poor depth perception, reaction time, and more.
Evidence you and your lawyer can use to demonstrate the driver was under the influence in your accident may include:
- Physical symptoms you noticed in the driver, such as bloodshot eyes, dazed expressions, dilated pupils, walking off balance, and slurred speech
- Testimony from you and any eyewitnesses to the accident describing the driver’s behavior
- Police officer testimony on their observations of the driver, as well as breathalyzer readings taken at the scene
- Admission of fault of intoxication by the driver
- The police report
- Proof that the driver received a citation for drunk or reckless driving
Your lawyer will be able to help you compile these types of evidence.
Building a Strong Drunk Driving Accident Claim in Stockbridge
Besides the above evidence for proving the driver was drunk in your accident, there are other ways you can gather information for a strong insurance claim.
Call the Police
You should definitely call the police after the accident to report what happened, especially if you believe the other driver may be drunk. Reporting the accident is your first piece of evidence that proves the crash occurred.
When police officers arrive at the scene, let them know your suspicions about the other driver’s impairment. This will likely encourage them to investigate. If they have probable cause, officers may conduct field sobriety tests or ask the driver to take a breathalyzer test.
This creates evidence that yourself and officers suspected the driver of being under the influence.
Take Pictures (and Maybe Video)
You can use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and your vehicle damage. You might also take pictures or a video of the driver’s behavior.
Picture and video evidence can be very powerful in a drunk driving case because it preserves the scene and the driver’s actions as they were right after the accident.
You can also help you case by noting suspicious behavior you observed in the driver. Use your phone’s note app or actual pen and paper to record what you saw.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, exchange names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information with the other driver.
See a Doctor
Get your injuries checked out as soon as possible after the accident, even if they seem minor. Getting treatment quickly will show the insurance company that any medical costs you’re claiming truly resulted from the accident—and that your injuries were serious enough to need prompt treatment.
Keep Records of Costs
Maintain a file of all medical bills and other costs you face because of the accident. You will need to include copies of these in your claim. If you’re not sure exactly what to save, ask your drunk driving accident lawyer.
Talk to a Stockbridge Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer
Drunk driving accidents can be serious and complicated. You deserve to have a legal professional on your side from the beginning.
Contact a trusted injury lawyer who focuses on drunk driving accidents as soon as you can. Most injury lawyers offer free consultations, so there’s no risk in calling to discuss the accident.
Talk to a Stockbridge Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer for Free
Our drunk driving accident lawyers in Stockbridge want to ensure you and your family get the compensation you need to recover as fully as possible and move on from the accident. We have more than 20 years of experience helping drunk driving accident victims win what they deserve—and it’s risk-free to work with us.
We’ll get started with a FREE consultation, and we don’t take a fee unless we win you money. Call us today at 404-800-7053 or contact us online for your FREE consultation.