When a drunk driver in Georgia causes an auto accident, it's a relatively open and shut case. Often, these drivers are held accountable for their actions. This leads many to wonder why some drivers go unpunished for essentially doing the same thing.
A 47-year-old Kennesaw, Georgia, man is waiting to see if the intoxicated driver who struck his motorcycle, causing serious injury, will eventually be punished. It's been two years since the accident occurred, and one wrinkle in the case has slowed it down significantly. Rather than driving under the influence of alcohol, the intoxicated driver was behind the wheel with marijuana in his system.
Under Georgia law, proving that a driver's ability behind the wheel was affected by marijuana is more difficult than if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or other illegal drugs. Traces of marijuana can stay in a person's system for a month, deeming urine and blood tests useless. That's why drivers with marijuana in their system during the event of a crash are treated differently.
The accident victim is questioning why, especially because alcohol is a legal substance and marijuana is illegal.
The accident played out on April 2, 2010. The man who struck the motorcycle was 18 years old at the time. The man on the motorcycle lost one of his legs because of the incident and was in such rough shape that first responders initially thought he was dead at the scene. He also broke bones in his arm and suffered damage to his right eye. The man would like to see the other driver held accountable.
That wish may be closer to coming true, as the alleged intoxicated driver is expected to be arraigned soon. Before the injured motorcyclist lobbied for stricter charges, the driver was set to face only misdemeanors, but the prosecutor tacked on felony driving under the influence, reckless driving and serious injury by vehicle charges. The man may still be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, which if successful will help him achieve some measure of justice.
Source: Cherokee Tribune, "Seeking justice: Man who lost leg wants equalized DUI laws," Megan Thornton, April 11, 2012
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