Most Georgia parents would likely agree that when their children reach an age where they are old enough to be allowed to get behind the wheel and venture out on their own with friends, parents hope that they will be safe and responsible. It is always frightening for parents when the phone rings, informing them that their teen has been involved in an accident, and things can go from bad to worse when the accident turns out to be an underage DUI that has resulted in fatality. Parents are immediately faced with a grim reality, especially if their child is the one who stands accused of committing a crime that has resulted in the injury or death of another person.
On a recent Thursday evening in June, an 18-year-old driver transporting three passengers allegedly crashed into a brick mailbox. One of the teen passengers was killed as a result. When Georgia police arrived, they supposedly determined that the young driver was impaired by drugs and in possession of marijuana, though they have not yet released the circumstances that led them to file these charges. The driver stands accused of several crimes, including DUI, possession of marijuana contributing to the deprivation of a minor, failure to maintain a lane, a driving too fast for conditions, reckless driving and a seat belt violation.
Though the crimes for which the 18-year-old stands accused are indeed serious, being charged with a crime is not proof of guilt. Often, initial reports and investigations contain errors, as law enforcement is often in a rush to determine the details of the crash. As days pass, there can be important updates and changes in the case, as witnesses come forward and those injured are finally able to give statements.
When Georgia teens stand accused of an underage DUI, they may feel as if their life has ended before it has begun. Having a DUI on a person’s record can lead to a string of difficulties down the line. In many cases, it can be a good idea to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney, who may be able to help young drivers defend themselves in a court of law, where they will have to face older and more experienced adults.