Our Atlanta Drunk Driving Attorneys Can Help After an Accident
Drinking under the influence of alcohol is strictly against the law in Georgia, but that doesn’t mean alcohol-induced accidents don’t happen. If you or a loved one were in an accident and you believe or know the other driver was drinking and driving we urge you to consult with an Atlanta DUI lawyer to learn about your legal rights to compensation.
Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents in Georgia
Georgia laws allow punitive damages to be awarded to victims of drunk drivers who cause accidents. All too often, typical criminal penalties aren’t enough to stop drivers with drunk driving histories from driving while impaired. In most car accident cases, the at-fault driver’s driving record is not admissible and cannot be mentioned in front of the jury because it qualifies as inadmissible “character evidence” under Georgia law. However, when it comes to drunk driving, Georgia’s courts have held that when deciding whether to impose punitive damages, the jury can consider the at-fault driver’s other episodes of drunk driving.
In a drunk driving trial, the victim can introduce into evidence not only the at-fault driver’s previous DUIs, but also any subsequent incidents of drinking and driving. The imposition of punitive damages depends on whether at-fault drivers were consciously indifferent to the consequences of their actions. Courts have reasoned that if a driver continues to drive drunk even after injuring someone, that shows that the driver was indifferent to the consequences of his or her drinking and driving.