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Georgia woman in wrong-way accident accused of underage DUI

A Cobb County woman was detained in connection with a July 19 accident that resulted in serious injuries to two individuals. According to her arrest warrant, the 18-year-old reportedly informed officials that she consumed alcohol at a party prior to the incident. The report says that she drove a 2002 Nissan Maxima in the wrong direction on Interstate 575 and hit a 2005 Ford Focus head-on. Officials at the scene noted an odor of alcohol on the woman.

The driver and passenger of the other vehicle suffered serious injuries. While both are expected to survive, one of the injured parties needed emergency surgery, having suffered internal injuries as well as two broken legs. The woman charged with underage DUI was also injured. After release from an area medical facility, the woman was detained. In addition to charges of underage possession, reckless driving and DUI, she also faces two felony counts of serious injury by vehicle. She remained in custody with bond set at $30,000.

While reports note that the woman smelled of and admitted to consuming alcohol, no information is given about what field sobriety testing may have been performed. Breath or blood testing is often used to pinpoint the level of an individual's intoxication. Additionally, reports do not note whether the woman has obtained legal assistance in the matter at this point.

It may be important for the woman to work with a lawyer who has experience in defending underage DUI cases. Because she is 18, she may face charges as an adult with the outcome affecting her permanent record. A lawyer may be able negotiate for lesser penalties and charges in exchange for the client's participation in an alcohol treatment or awareness program. Additionally, a lawyer may be concerned with the order of events involving the woman's alleged confession to having consumed alcohol that evening.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Cops: Cobb woman, 18, was DUI in wrong-way injury crash on I-575", Alexis Stevens, July 23, 2014