Atlanta, Ga. - As an Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyer, I have been following the incidents that have occurred within the City of Atlanta very closely over the past week. I wrote earlier in the week about an Atlanta police officer who was seriously injured after being hit by an ATV during the riots and protests downtown.
The good news is that the officer is recovering well at Grady Memorial Hospital. The driver accused of striking the officer, however, is being held without bond at the Fulton County Jail. He is facing charges of serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, and DUI in Atlanta.
In today's post, I will provide a closer look at how DUI and Serious Injury by Vehicle are related. See below.
DUI and Serious Injury by Vehicle
O.C.G.A. §40-6-394 defines Serious Injury by Vehicle 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 high fines and up to fifteen years in prison.
If you have been arrested for a serious traffic violation within the City of Atlanta, call our offices today. An Atlanta DUI Defense Attorney can help you now.