The Georgia State Patrol believes that alcohol consumption may have contributed to an Oct. 20 accident that sent a Clermont man to the hospital. Police say that the two-vehicle crash was caused by a 34-year-old Hall County man who failed to yield while allegedly driving under the influence. He has been charged with DUI and issued with a traffic citation. The accident occurred at approximately 3 p.m. on Athens Highway southeast of Gainesville.
According to a GSP report, the man was driving southbound on Athens Highway when he attempted to make a left turn onto Gains Mill Road. However, police say that his van pulled into the path of an oncoming pickup truck as it pulled out of the left turn lane. The force of the collision is said to have spun the van around and overturned the pickup truck.
The job of emergency services personnel was reportedly made more challenging by a fuel spill and large amounts of debris scattered across the roadway. The driver of the pickup truck suffered injuries in the crash, and he was transported by ambulance to a medical center in Gainesville for treatment. The driver of the van escaped the accident without injury. Northbound traffic on Athens Highway was temporarily halted as the accident scene was cleared of glass, ladders and various tools.
The penalties for drunk driving in Georgia may be serious when an accident results in injuries, but proving DUI charges may be challenging for prosecutors in certain situations. A criminal defense attorney could scrutinize police reports and witness statements for indications that factors other than alcohol consumption may have contributed to the accident. An attorney may also question the validity of any available toxicology test results if strict guidelines have not been followed or the equipment used has not been properly maintained.
Source: Gainesville Times, “Driver charged with DUI in Athens Highway crash”, Nick Watson, October 21, 2014