Recently, a Cobb County man was driving one morning in Marietta and hit a fence at a local elementary school. He was charged with drunk driving, along with some other misdemeanor charges. His cargo? A 6-year-old child. Driving intoxicated while also driving a child is considered child endangerment in Georgia and we are proud that our laws prohibit this dangerous activity.
Atlanta area residents know that it is against the law to drink and drive. We have written in the past about the serious dangers of drinking and driving and our work with Georgia Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But what happens when a driver is drunk and has a minor in the car? In my law practice as an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer, I have represented clients injured by drunk drivers and children hurt in serious car accidents. This is a lethal combination.
Although no one was injured in the accident, the driver hit the fence and continued on with a flat tire and a broken wheel. He drove all the way to his home and was taken into custody after a “chemical breath test indicated an alcohol concentration of .220 grams” according to his arrest warrant.
Under the Official Code of Georgia sections 16-12-1(d) and 40-6-391(1), our laws makes it a separate offense to transport a child under the age of 14 years while driving under the influence. With a first or second offense (which constitutes a misdemeanor) a person can be imprisoned for not more than 12 months and / or be fined no more than $1,000. WIth a third or subsequent offense (which constitutes ad felony), a person can be imprisoned for not less than l year or more than 3 years. In addition, or alternatively a person can be fined between $1,000 and $5,000.
The reason driving drunk with a child is so dangerous is obvious. But the statistics are stunning. According to MADD, motor vehicle crashes leading as the cause of death for kids between 3 and 14 years of age. In the recent past, almost 15% of kids who were killed in a motor vehicle accident — were killed because they were passengers in a car in which the driver was drunk.
We agree with MADD, driving drunk with a child is effectively child abuse and we are pleased that Georgia is one of the 41states and the District of Columbia that have enacted laws to enhance the penalties for those driving drunk with children in the vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver, please contact The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., for a free consultation with me. I will evaluate your case at no obligation. I am fully committed to protecting those who have been injured by drunk drivers and as with all my clients, when I represent you I will work to secure your legal rights and your recovery from your injuries.