In addition to being charged with driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI), one may find themselves facing other criminal charges related to a DUI. Additionally, in some cases, the DUI laws are different, or carry greater consequences, depending on the facts. We discuss the most common additional charges below.
Homicide by Vehicle
Homicide by vehicle is a criminal charge when someone causes the death of another human being while committing a DUI. To review, a DUI involves the following elements.
- Driving or being in physical control of a vehicle, while either:
- Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams of alcohol or more in their blood, breath, or urine;
- Driving while having any controlled substance or marijuana, including derivatives and metabolites of same, found in their blood or urine;
- Driving when it is less safe to do so based on the consumption of any of the following, alone or in combination:
- Prescription drugs
- Over the counter drugs
- Illegal drugs
- Inhaled aerosols
- Inhaled glues
- Other vapors inhaled
- Seriously disfiguring the injured person's body
- Rendering a member of the injured person's body useless
- Causing organic brain damage which renders the body or any member thereof useless.
If all these elements are met, and someone dies as a result of the driver's conduct, even if the driver had no “malice aforethought,” they can be charged with homicide by vehicle. This crime is punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years and not less than 3 years.
Feticide by Vehicle
One commits the crime of feticide by vehicle if they cause the death of an unborn child as a result of injury to the mother of a child while operating a motor vehicle meeting the elements of DUI. Feticide by vehicle is also punishable by imprisonment of not more than 15 years and not less than 3 years.
Serious Injury by Vehicle
When one commits a DUI and in the course of this causes bodily harm to another human being which results in any of the following, they may be charged with the crime of serious injury by vehicle. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of 1 year and up to 15 years.
In All Cases Involving Injury or Death
It is important to note that in all cases involving a DUI which results in injury or death, the driver can be charged regardless of who is injured or killed. In other words, it does not matter if the person injured or killed was a pedestrian crossing the sidewalk in the crosswalk or a pedestrian crossing the street in the middle of the block. It does not matter if the person injured or killed was a passenger in the driver's car, who knowingly got into the car with the intoxicated driver, or if the person was a passenger or driver of another vehicle on the road
Endangering a Child by Driving Under the Influence
This offense occurs when someone commits a DUI and has a child under the age of 14 in the car at the time. This offense is separate from the DUI charge. For a first offense of endangering a child by driving under the influence, one is charged with a misdemeanor offense. This crime carries a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both. A second conviction for this crime is a high and aggravated misdemeanor. It carries a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000. Additionally, there is a sentence of imprisonment for not less than one year. People can face both the fine and jail time as a consequence for a second conviction. A third or subsequent conviction for the charge of endangering a child is a felony offense. The fine is not less than $10,000 and imprisonment must be at least one year, but not more than five years. The person convicted of a third or subsequent endangering a child charge can be subject to both the fine and imprisonment.
DUI Under the Age of 21
For those under the legal drinking age of 21, there are additional limitations. If a person under the age of 21 has been drinking even “just a little bit,” they can be charged with and convicted of a DUI under the age of 21. The law in Georgia states that if a person under the age of 21 has a blood alcohol concentration of just 0.02 grams of alcohol (or more) within three hours of driving or being in physical control of a vehicle can be charged with a DUI. The first offense of this nature is punishable by a fine of at least $400 and not more than $1,000, as well as at least ten days in jail, up to a maximum jail sentence of 12 months, up to 40 hours of community service, and the required completion of a DUI alcohol or drug use risk-reduction program and a chemical use assessment.
A person under the age of 21 who receives a second DUI while underage faces a fine of not less than $600 or more than $1,000, 90 days to 12 months in jail, 30 days of community service, and other terms and conditions.
DUI While Driving a School Bus
School bus drivers face additional penalties if they are convicted of a DUI when driving their school bus. This crime requires at least a year of jail, but not more than five years of imprisonment. It also calls for a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000. School bus drivers can face both fines and jail time.
Experienced DUI and DUI Related Defense
In every DUI and DUI related charge, there are legal challenges that can be made. From challenging the legitimacy of the stop to critically analyzing the lab results, there is the potential for the reduction or dismissal of charges at every turn. Contact our experienced Roswell and Alpharetta DUI attorneys at 404.816.4440. We take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Let us help you. Call today.