Riding a motorcycle doesn’t come without its risks. Despite the many precautions taken by motorcyclists, they’re most vulnerable to drunk drivers as well as hazardous conditions on the road. Although the best motorcycle accident lawyer Douglasville, can help you fight for compensation after an accident, it’s crucial to know how the law applies to your case, especially if it involves impaired driving.
Most people think motorcycle accidents with elements of drunk driving have different rules, but that’s not the case. This article will discuss how Georgia drunk driving rules apply to motorcycle accident cases. We’ll also cover your compensation if you’ve been in a drunk driving accident.
Motorcyclists and Georgia DUI Laws – How They Apply
In Georgia, motorcyclists are expected to follow the same laws as those who operate motor vehicles. This means they must be able to drive a motorcycle properly and obey traffic rules, including the different state laws related to drinking and driving. In addition, if a motorcyclist is injured while driving under the influence or by other drivers who abused alcohol, their case is reviewed under the general Georgia DUI law.
Additionally, the same severe consequence applies to motorcycle riders caught driving under the influence. First-time offenders can face twelve months of probation and a minimum fine of $300. Additionally, they could face between ten days and twelve months in jail.
First-time offenders can also face 40 hours of community service, license suspension, and compulsory alcohol rehabilitation programs. If you’re a motorcyclist caught riding under the influence for a second or third time, this could result in more severe punishment.
Can a Motorcyclist Be Charged With DUI if Their BAC Is Under the Legal Limit?
When the police pull you over for suspicion of riding your motorcycle while intoxicated, the officer begins their investigation by asking you to perform standardized field sobriety tests. These tests reveal your ability to perform several unique tasks simultaneously. The purpose behind this field sobriety test is that alcohol and drugs interfere with your ability to divide your attention between the various functions of riding a bike.
Therefore, while a breathalyzer test is one way of proving you’re driving under the influence, it is not the only method. For example, the law enforcement officer can still charge you for driving under the influence if your BAC is under the .08% limit, but you did not pass the field sobriety test.
Additionally, suppose the police officer notices some evidence of impaired driving, like swerving, driving with your headlights off at night, inability to stay in your lane, or riding erratically. In that case, this might be enough to determine your driving is impaired. Therefore, even if your BAC is only .02%, the officer can still charge you with a DUI offense.
In some cases, the police officer would place you under arrest and demand that you carry out a blood test to determine the presence of alcohol or other substances in your body. However, most times, impairment is apparent in motorcyclists due to the inability to balance and maintain the proper speed while under the influence.
Ways You Can Avoid a DUI Charge After Your Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident where the investigating officers are alleging impairment, there are things you can do to avoid facing a charge. Below are some helpful tips.
Refusal to Take a Chemical Test
Motorcyclists who refuse to take a sobriety test are faced with at least one-year license suspension. There are times when the degree of your intoxication would result in more than a year’s suspension. Sometimes it’s best to refuse the chemical test and settle for the mandatory suspension than deal with the consequences of a DUI charge.
Inaccurate Test Result
You can challenge the accurate nature of the breathalyzer test, and in most cases, you can challenge the DUI test. This is because there are strict guidelines the test needs to meet to be considered accurate. Therefore, you can challenge the accuracy of the DUI test result if these guidelines are not met.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Douglasville Explains What Happens if an Impaired Driver Hits a Motorcycle
A person with a BAC above the legal limit of .08% will most likely be at fault if an accident happens. Therefore, if an impaired vehicle driver hits your motorcycle, you can sue for damages if you suffer injuries or damage to your motorcycle. Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Douglasville can help you seek financial compensation.
This could include compensatory damages, third-party damages, and even punitive damages. Compensatory damages help the victim cover financial losses from the accident. Therefore, some of these damages include vehicle repair, lost wages, medications, medical bills, rehabilitation, etc.
On the other hand, punitive damage is to punish the driver for their negligent or reckless behavior. Georgia also features a dram shop law that allows you to hold a seller liable if they served someone who was noticeably intoxicated, knowing they would go on to operate their vehicle. Examples of parties you can seek third-party damages from include liquor stores, restaurants, etc.
Also, because motorcycle accident injuries are usually severe, it might take a while to recover from injuries sustained. Therefore, treatment could be long-term and result in more medical expenses.
Therefore, a motorcycle accident lawyer in Douglasville can help you include future damages to your injury claim. Future damages could include additional surgeries, new medications, follow-up visits to your doctor, and loss of future earnings.
The Role of Comparative Negligence
If you are found to be impaired after an auto-motorcycle collision, you might share some of the blame for the collision. If it is found that you are indeed partially at fault, you will lose some of your compensation due to the comparative negligence law. However, your lawyer will carefully examine the case to get ensure you are not wrongly blamed even if you are impaired.
Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, Douglasville, Can Help You Get Maximum Compensation
Have you been in a DUI accident? We understand the physical and emotional impact an accident can have on you and your loved ones. Additionally, we understand the financial difficulties that arise after an accident.
Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone. Our injury attorneys in Georgia can help you seek compensation after a DUI accident. Our experienced legal team at Hartley, Rowe, and Fowler has the skills and expertise to help you seek compensation for the injuries caused by the action of an alcohol-impaired motorist.
In addition, our lawyers are excellent negotiators and will ensure you get the settlement you deserve. So get in touch with our personal injury attorneys in Georgia today to learn how we can help you.