In Georgia, drivers who get behind the wheel and drive after drinking alcohol or using drugs are placing themselves and others on the road at risk. This remains a problem despite law enforcement crackdowns and the known penalties that accompany an arrest and conviction.
While DUIs are dangerous regardless of the type of vehicle the person is driving, large commercial vehicles can do a significantly greater amount of damage in an accident.
Georgia has the most DUIs for commercial operators in the nation. Drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and anyone else on the road need to be cognizant of this. They should be sure to know what steps to take if there is a crash and a commercial DUI was a factor.
Georgia is watching for commercial driver DUIs
The Georgia Department of Public Safety provided the worrisome information about DUIs for commercial drivers in the state. Georgia has twice the number of such violations as the next state on the list. Law enforcement is out in force trying to catch truckers and other commercial drivers who might be violating the law in this way.
It is troubling anytime a driver commits a DUI, but the sheer fact that commercial drivers are operating vehicles that are larger and heavier while traveling at high speeds on the interstate gives them a greater chance of inflicting severe damage if this is an accident.
GDPS says that there were 459 trucker DUIs in the state in 2021. The next year, there were 480. The most recent numbers for 2023 say there have been 500.
Researchers blame the problem on driver irresponsibility and a lack of oversight. Commercial drivers who are charged and convicted of DUI can lose their commercial licenses and thereby jeopardize their livelihood. Still, some choose to run the risk and place others in harm’s way because of it.
Commercial drivers can be held accountable for DUI crashes
Motor vehicle accidents can happen without warning. People are understandably unprepared for a crash and the challenges that follow them. Along with wondering how they will pay for the sudden medical bills, lost time on the job, long-term disability and obstacles with interacting with their family, they also need to think about other considerations.
These include dealing with the insurance company, gathering evidence and taking the initiative in holding the intoxicated commercial driver accountable for their behavior. This goes beyond simply recovering for all that was lost and ensuring that the commercial driver’s recklessness is known. This can make society safer by stopping them from driving professionally again.
People who are trying to address the consequences of an auto accident need to learn what steps to take. Knowing whom to trust and what should be done can be difficult, particularly when they are also dealing with injuries and perhaps a loved one who was killed. Thinking about the future includes being fully informed about the available options.