The crash that killed one teen and led to serious criminal charges against another has gripped Georgia and further illustrated the serious dangers of driving under the influence (DUI). According to WLTZ News, 17-year-old Clayton Qualls has been charged with DUI and other charges for being behind the wheel in an accident that killed 16-year-old Hannah Gilmer. Neither teen was wearing a seatbelt at the time, causing Gilmer to be ejected from the car in the crash.
Qualls faces nine total charges, including vehicular homicide, DUI, minor in possession of alcohol, improper lane change, seat belt violation, and open container. Even more worrisome is that police say the teen had been arrested for DUI just two weeks earlier. In that incident, Qualls, who as driving three other people, was pulled over on Highway 280 in Harris County after an officer saw a beer can tossed out the car window. After that incident, Qualls requested an administrative license suspension hearing, which allows the individual to drive for 30 days until the hearing.
Despite concerted efforts to curb drunk driving, DUI accidents remain a serious problem in Georgia and the United States. A driver is considered to be driving under the influence if they are over a state’s thresholds for minimum alcohol or drug intoxication (.08 for adults and .02 for under-21 in Georgia). Victims of drunk driving accidents may hold perpetrators accountable through civil suits seeking compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and punitive damages.
Have you or a loved one been involved in an accident where one of the drivers may have been under the influence? If so, you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for any injuries or death that occurred as a result of the accident. Because the standard of proof is lower in a civil suit than it is in a criminal case, a lawsuit can be won against a drunk driver even if he or she is not found guilty of driving under the influence (DUI). To learn about your valuable legal rights, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Morgan & Morgan attorney by filling out our free case review form.