Driving under the influence is a serious offense, but when a DUI results in injuries or fatalities, the penalties become much more severe. Understanding how these circumstances impact DUI penalties is helpful for anyone who drives.

In Georgia, the legal system imposes harsher consequences to deter such dangerous behavior and deliver justice for victims.

Enhanced penalties for DUI with injuries

When a DUI results in injuries, the driver faces enhanced penalties. These can include longer jail sentences, higher fines and extended license suspensions. For example, causing serious injury by vehicle is a felony offense. This can lead to imprisonment for up to 15 years. The injury’s severity and the crash’s circumstances can influence the sentence’s length. The driver may also face mandatory community service and participation in substance abuse programs.

DUI causing fatalities

A DUI that results in a fatality is treated as vehicular homicide. This is one of the most serious charges related to DUI offenses. Vehicular homicide in the first degree is a felony. It can result in a prison sentence ranging from 3 to 15 years for each death caused. If the driver has prior DUI convictions, the penalties can be even more severe.

Financial consequences

In addition to criminal penalties, drivers involved in DUI incidents causing injuries or fatalities may face substantial financial consequences. These might include civil lawsuits filed by victims or their families, seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Such lawsuits can result in significant financial liabilities for the driver.

Impact on driving privileges

Drivers convicted of DUI with injuries or fatalities will likely face longer periods of license suspension or revocation. In some cases, they may also have to install an ignition interlock device once they can drive again. This device prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath.

By understanding the gravity of DUI offenses and their outcomes, drivers can better appreciate the importance of safe driving practices.