The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports a 24-year-old motorist crossed the center line of a Georgia roadway and struck a motorcyclist in the early hours of the morning just last month. The pair was traveling in opposite directions on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta when the auto accident occurred. Reports by DeKalb County police indicated that the driver of the car was heavily under the influence of alcohol at the time. He was accordingly charged with driving under the influence, first-degree vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane. The 58-year-old victim expired at the scene.
The accident was discouraging for motorcyclists, who already have to deal with a bevy of dangers on the road as it is. When it comes to a competition of survival between a car and a motorcycle, the car passes Darwin’s test every time. Without the extra protection that the body of a car provides, motorcyclists are particularly susceptible to being physically harmed or killed when involved in an accident. In situations like that, helmets and protective gear provide little comfort.
A distracted or negligent driver may easily overlook and collide with motorcycle (or scooter…or bicycle, for that matter) and adding alcohol into the mix only makes things worse. Alcohol slows a driver’s reaction time and impairs their ability to successfully maneuver a vehicle without incident. Case in point: Crossing over a clearly demarcated center line and striking an oncoming vehicle.
The motor and sensory impairment that alcohol consumption inevitably results in explains why it is, in fact, one of the leading contributors to motorcycle crashes – and that’s regardless of whether the libation is consumed by the biker or the driver. It doesn’t take a lot of alcohol to reach the point of impairment, either.
Currently, blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more is considered to be beyond the legal limit. The rule is even more stringent for commercial truck drivers who are considered legally drunk if their BAC is .04 percent. Minors (anyone younger than 21 years of age) are considered to be intoxicated if any level of alcohol is detected in their system upon apprehension by officers.
According to the statistics map on the home page of www.drinkinganddriving.org, in Georgia on average approximately 72 out of every 10,000 persons are arrested for impaired driving on an annual basis. In DeKalb County (where the subject accident occurred), 22 out of 10,000 persons are arrested for DUI and in the larger and more populous Fulton County that number soars to 60 out of every 10,000 persons. In other counties, the numbers exceed 100. Even more disturbing is the fact that 1/3 of motorists arrested are repeat offenders.
Drunk driving endangers everyone on the road and culprits need to be held responsible if we have any hopes of curtailing the dangerous practice and reducing the numbers of fatalities and injuries. If you or someone you know has been badly injured in a motorcycle accident, you should seek experienced motorcycle accident attorneys to fight on your behalf. Contact Attorney Client Match today for a free consultation.