DUI Driver Denied Bond After Fatal Blairsville Crash

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 06, 2020 | 0 Comments

Blairsville, Ga. - A young man has been denied bond after being arrested on fifteen different charges. 

Union County Courthouse

The young man has been accused of DUI in Georgia. He has also been charged with:

He has been accused of causing what has turned out to be a fatal and devastating collision. According to investigators, the man was driving drunk when he rear-ended the vehicle in front of him. That collision has resulted in the death of a two-year-old boy and the serious injuries of both of his parents. He is also facing two counts of serious injury by vehicle.

As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, let me start this post by saying that any situation that involves the death of a human being is horrific - especially the death of a child. My goal in today's post is simply to address the law behind one of the charges faced by the young man - serious injury by vehicle.

Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia

The Georgia Code defines Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 as:

Whoever, without malice, shall cause bodily harm to another by depriving him of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless through the violation of Code Section 40-6-390 or 40-6-391 shall be guilty of the crime of serious injury by vehicle. A person convicted under this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than 15 years.

This law does not define what constitutes a serious injury, so in these situations, we have to look to other sources within the Georgia Code. Other Georgia laws define it as a “fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, or loss of consciousness.”  To be considered serious, the injury does not need to be permanent. Instead, a serious, temporary injury is sufficient and only needs to impair or injure a person's appearance. 

In the past, injuries such as loss of vision in one eye, blurry vision, a two-inch scar on the forehead, broken ribs, and severe bruising have qualified as “serious.”  Whether an injury is serious is a question of fact to be determined by the jury.

Serious injury by vehicle is classified as a felony offense. The penalty if convicted of serious injury by vehicle can include up to 15 years in prison.

Practice Note

The young man is being held in the Fannin County Jail. If you have been arrested for DUI or any other serious traffic violation, call us now. We can help.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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