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Athens man sentenced in DUI crash that followed 7 previous DUIs

An Athens man has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars and another 15 years of probation for a DUI crash that seriously injured members of a family in another vehicle. The crash occurred in May 2017 on Danielsville Road in Athens.

The sentence handed down by the judge after a four-day trial was impacted by the man's record of seven previous convictions for DUI. According to the assistant district attorney (ADA) involved in the case, the judge said that "he could not ignore the defendant's seven prior convictions for driving under the influence" or the fact that "the collision could have easily killed the entire family."

The man, who was driving a pickup truck at the time of the crash, was found guilty of serious injury by motor vehicle (four counts), driving without a license and failure to maintain his lane. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), his blood alcohol concentration was more than triple the legal limit at 0.29 percent.

The car he struck was carrying a husband and wife as well as their four daughters. The mother, who was in the front seat, suffered multiple fractures of her arm and leg. One of the daughters in the back seat "suffered a concussion, fractured wrist and pelvis, and lost two of her bottom teeth," according to the ADA.

While no one finds a license suspension convenient after a DUI conviction, abiding by that suspension can keep you out of further trouble and -- more importantly -- protect your safety and that of others on the road. With an ignition interlock device that will prevent you from starting your vehicle if you're under the influence, you may be able to regain your driving privileges. It's essential to discuss all of your options with your attorney.