How Does Georgia Rank for Fatal DUI Crashes?
Drunk driving is a major issue in Georgia. A recent study looked at how Georgia ranks for fatal DUI crashes. It found the state is more than halfway up the national table.
A study of impaired driving deaths found Georgia ranks 21st in the U.S. for drunk driving fatalities, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other data.
The report from Patch detailed how SafeWise, a home security systems review website compared drunk driving deaths in each state. Georgia recorded 3.51 drunken or impaired driving deaths per 100,000 people in 2017.
The survey listed the state with the highest impaired driving death rates as Wyoming which topped the table with 7.59 fatalities per 100,000 people. Georgia’s neighbor South Carolina had a drunk driving death rate of 6.22 per 100,000 people. North Dakota recorded 6.08 per 100,000 people, New Mexico (5.74 per 100,000 people), and Alabama (5.49 per 100,000 people.
The states with the lowest level of drunk driving deaths were New Jersey, New York, Minnesota, Utah, and Massachusetts.
In 2016, Georgia police attended 368 fatal accidents linked to drunk driving in the state, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The state recorded 1,554 highway deaths in 2016.
People who cause a death by driving drunk in Georgia usually face a vehicular homicide or homicide by vehicle charge under OCGA 40-6-393. The offense carries a penalty of imprisonment from three to 15 years.
Is Homicide by Vehicle a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Georgia?
In certain circumstances, unintentionally causing death while driving can be a misdemeanor. However, Georgia law outlines which traffic violations can result in a felony charge.
The felony statute requires no “malice aforethought,” or intent to harm anyone. However, drivers can be charged with a felony even in the absence of the intention to cause death when they are:
- Passing a school bus that’s picking up or unloading student;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Running from police;
- Reckless driving.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
The law takes deaths related to drunk driving seriously in Georgia. Please call our Atlanta area attorneys today if you or a family member has been charged over a fatal DUI crash.