According to reports out of Clayton County, a police officer had to be extricated or physically freed from his damaged patrol car early Thursday morning. Georgia State Troopers arrived at the scene just after 3:30am. The front of the officer's car was completely crushed and had trapped him inside the vehicle. Rescue crews worked quickly to get him out of the car and transport him to Atlanta Medical Center.
Investigators at the scene determined that the driver of the another vehicle T-boned the officer's car in an intersection. The other driver was also badly injured and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. As of right now, investigators have determined that the other driver was at fault, and that she had failed to yield properly.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will explore the current case just a little further just in case any other facts become apparent in the accident. If she failed to yield as a result of driving under the influence or driving recklessly, she could be looking at some very serious charges.
Most cases involving DUI in Georgia are treated as misdemeanors. However, as with most things in the law, there are exceptions, particularly when DUI results in the serious injury or death of another individual. According to Georgia Law, if you cause another person bodily harm while driving under the influence or driving recklessly you can be charged with the felony offense of Serious Injury by Vehicle.
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia
Serious Injury by Vehicle in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 as:
Causing 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 O.C.G.A. §40-6-390 or O.C.G.A. §40-6-391.
The reason I outlined the law of serious injury by vehicle is that if it is determined that other driver was actually driving under the influence or accused of reckless driving in Georgia, she may also be facing this criminal offense.
The law does not define what exactly constitutes a serious injury. However, other sources of Georgia Law have determined that a serious injury ranges from a fractured bone, severe burns, disfigurement, dismemberment, partial or total loss of sight or hearing, to loss of consciousness.
Serious injury by vehicle does not require that any intent to harm another person in order to be proven. As a result, defenses such as where a person did not intend to get in an accident or drive recklessly are not allowed.
If someone is serious injured due to an alleged DUI driver, the driver will be charged with a felony that result in up to 15 years in prison. This is why if you or a loved one has been arrested for a serious traffic violation, you should contact our offices now. Most people believe that all traffic violations are penalized lightly - but there are very serious offenses such as DUI and Serious Injury by Vehicle.