What Happens If a DUI Leads to Death in GA?

When a DUI results in another person’s death, the driver can be charged with vehicular homicide. There are two types of vehicular homicide charges in Georgia: first-degree vehicular homicide and second-degree vehicular homicide. 

First-Degree Vehicular Homicide 

Drunk or drugged driving that causes the death of another person is considered a first-degree vehicular homicide. In addition, if violating Georgia’s reckless driving laws, committing a hit-and-run offense, driving on a revoked license after being classified as a “habitual violator” (i.e., convicted of at least three serious traffic violations within five years), or fleeing from police leads to the death of someone else, the offense is also considered a first-degree vehicular homicide. 

First-degree vehicular homicide in Georga is a felony, punishable by imprisonment between three and 15 years, as well as driver’s revocation for three years. However, if the driver who commits the offense is a habitual offender, then a conviction carries a prison sentence between five and 20 years. 

Second-Degree Vehicular Homicide 

Second-degree vehicular homicide occurs when a driver commits a traffic offense and subsequently kills another person. Common traffic offenses include speeding, running a red light, making an illegal U-turn, and another traffic violation not mentioned earlier. 

A second-degree vehicular homicide charge is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail term of one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. 

Civil Liability 

On top of facing criminal charges, the offender could also be sued by the victim’s family. In a civil lawsuit, a judge could award both economic (e.g., funeral/burial expenses, medical expenses prior to the victim’s death, loss of income, etc.) and non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, loss of companionship, etc.). 

If you have been arrested for a DUI or vehicular homicide in Gwinnett County, contact Daniels & Taylor, P.C. today at (770) 285-1673 for a free initial consultation. Serving Lawrenceville and beyond since 1994. 

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