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Georgia man charged with DUI after early morning accident

Police in Georgia believe that a 30-year-old man was driving under the influence when he was involved in a two-vehicle crash that left a Savannah woman critically injured in the early morning hours of Sept. 22. The man has been charged with DUI, and he was transported to the Chatham County Detention Center after receiving medical treatment in Savannah. The accident occurred on the Abercorn Street Extension near Rio Road in Savannah at approximately 2:05 a.m.

According to a Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police report, the man's SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed as it approached a construction zone in the westbound lanes of the Abercorn Extension. Police say that the SUV struck a number of barrels, which had been placed in the roadway to close off the outer lanes, before striking the rear of the woman's car. The force of the impact turned the car sideways and propelled it into a steamroller. Construction workers subsequently stopped the SUV.

Paramedics soon arrived at the scene, and the drivers of both vehicles were transported by ambulance to the Memorial University Medical Center. At the time of reporting, officers with the Major Accident Investigation Team say that their investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The penalties for drunk driving can be severe in Georgia when an accident results in serious injury or death. However, conviction requires proof beyond any reasonable doubt, and a criminal defense attorney may call the details of an accident report into question. Witness statements may be contradictory or unclear, and a defense attorney may challenge conclusions that the accident was avoidable or caused by alcohol consumption. An attorney could also dispute the results of toxicology tests performed to establish a motorist's blood alcohol level if strict protocols regarding the administration of the test were not followed.

Source: WJCL, "UPDATE: DUI charges in Monday's accident", Alicia Patterson, September 23, 2014