Posted by Jim Yeargan in Jim's Blog on November 2, 2016
When motorists are charged with driving under the influence and have children in the vehicle, Georgia law enforcement has been known to raise charges of child safety restraint violations. A recent example of this charge occurred when a woman was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The event in question occurred when the woman drove her vehicle with three children still inside into a tractor-trailer. At the time that the collision occurred, the motorist was driving her vehicle east on US 84 while the tractor-trailer was headed west on the same road. The resulting collision caused significant damage to the woman’s vehicle.
After the collision, the woman was trapped inside of her vehicle and had to be removed by emergency services. Although the motorist claimed to not be injured in the event, the three children were inspected by medical services for any resulting injuries.
The motorist was later charged by the Georgia State Patrol with three counts of endangering a child, driving under the influence, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, failure to maintain a lane, a seatbelt violation, and two child safety restraint violations.
According to the Center for Disease Control, child safety restraints reduce the risk of death for infants by 71% and for toddlers by 54%, which means that the state of Georgia takes these offense very seriously.
Applicable Georgia Law
Georgia law requires that children under the age of eight be restrained in a weight-appropriate child safety seat while riding in a motor vehicle. This law, however, does not apply to children who are passengers in taxi cabs or public transport vehicles including school buses.
These safety seats must meet several requirements:
- The seat must be located in the rear of the vehicle,
- The seat must be appropriate for the child’s weight and height,
- The seat must meet all established federal safety standards, and
- The seat must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
A child over four foot nine inches tall is not required to be restrained in a child safety seat even if the child is under the age of eight years old. Children with certain medical conditions are also excluded from being restrained in a safety seat.
Consequences of Such an Offense
A first conviction for violation of these laws results in a $50 fine and one point being placed on an individual’s driving record. Subsequent offenses can carry a fine of up to $100 and two points being placed on an individual’s driving record.
Individuals who are found in violation of child safety restraint law while under the influence of alcohol are at particular risk of facing much more severe child endangerment charges. Child endangerment charges do not merge with either other child endangerment or driving under the influence convictions.
Individuals in Georgia who are charged with child endangerment frequently face driver’s license suspension, jail time, and substantial fines.
Contact a Talented Georgia DUI Attorney
No matter what type of charge you face as a result of driving under the influence, many individuals frequently discover that the best tactic to handling such a charge is to retain the service of seasoned legal counsel who know how to reach the best potential outcome. Do not hesitate to contact the legal counsel at Yeargan , Barber & Kert today.