Mandy Coast, a 33 year old woman, is facing charges of:
According to reports out of Rome, Coast allegedly hit a school bus head-on yesterday morning. The crash sent the sixteen students onboard the bus to the hospital with minor injuries. Coast had her own two children in the car with her. She and her two children were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
DUI is taken very seriously in Georgia. DUI cases are exacerbated when there are children involved. Most DUI Prosecutors and Judges look strictly upon DUI accused drivers. The reality is that the public does not look favorably on DUI cases that involved children.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law and the consequences behind DUI Child Endangerment in today's post.
DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia
DUI Child Endangerment in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §40-6-391 as:
A person who violates this Code section while transporting in a motor vehicle a child under the age of 14 years is guilty of the separate offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
To put the law simply - for any child riding in a vehicle as a passenger where a driver has been charged with DUI, the driver is facing an additional DUI charge. Even for a first time offender, a driver can face multiple DUI charges for one offense.
Let's look at a hypothetical example. Driver “A” is driving an SUV with three children under the age of 14 in the car. If “A” is pulled over, investigated, and arrested for DUI, then according to Georgia Law, “A” is now facing four separate DUI offenses.
In Georgia, a fourth DUI offense will automatically elevate the case to a felony. Aside from the lifelong consequences of a felony conviction, the driver will face multiple years of driver's license suspension and potentially lengthy prison time.
DUI Laws in Georgia are strict and can be very confusing to a first-time offender. DUI Child Endangerment charges are different from any other DUI-related offense. The possibility of multiple charges coming out of one offense is what sets this offense apart.
No matter what the case, there are defenses that can apply. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today.