Atlanta Drunk Driving Accident Attorney Supports Ignition Interlock Device Bill

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A bill that would require even first-time DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed in their cars could lead to fewer alcohol-related accidents, injuries and deaths, says Atlanta personal injury lawyer Bruce Millar.

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Atlanta personal injury lawyer Bruce Millar

The bill would create a highly effective way of getting drunk drivers off our roads and protecting innocent motorists, motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians.

An Atlanta personal injury attorney who represents drunk-driving accident victims and their families today voiced his support for a bill that would require all DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed in their cars.

Senate Bill 41 presently is in the Senate Special Judiciary Committee. The Georgia General Assembly is set to end its current session on April 14.

“This bill could save lives and prevent catastrophic injuries,” said Millar of the Atlanta personal injury law firm of Millar & Mixon, LLC, which represents drunk-driving accident victims throughout the state of Georgia.

Earlier this year, Millar recovered more than $1.7 million for the family of a DUI accident victim in a case brought against the driver and the tavern that had served the driver. (Gordon v. Butler, et al., Superior Court of Henry County, Georgia, No. 09 CV 3230A.)

“The bill would create a highly effective way of getting drunk drivers off our roads and protecting innocent motorists, motorcycle riders, bicyclists and pedestrians,” Millar said.

Under current state law, only repeat offenders must have the ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer device that prevents a car from being operated when the driver registers a blood-alcohol level above a minimum limit.

According to a news release by the American Beverage Institute, which is opposed to the bill, 12 states have a mandatory ignition interlock requirement like S.B. 41. The ABI reports that 26 other states have laws that target repeat DUI / DWI offenders and those convicted of driving with a high BAC (0.15 or above).

The ABI has criticized the bill for targeting the wrong offenders and for its projected cost, which the organization says would be around $9 million per year. Millar strongly disagreed.

“First of all, I don’t think you can or should put a cost on saving innocent lives,” he said. “I also believe that anyone who is convicted of driving drunk once is, unfortunately, likely to drive drunk again. Why wait until the person has two or three more DUI convictions? Why take the risk of that person causing a DUI-related accident, injury or death?”

In a report earlier this month, WRBL 3 News cited a Mothers Against Drunk Driving study that found that DUI fatalities had been reduced by 30-46 percent in the 12 states with mandatory ignition interlock penalties.

According to the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, there were 331 fatal accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers in Georgia in 2009, representing nearly a quarter of the state’s total car crash fatalities.

“So, if this bill passed, we could save roughly 100-150 lives in the coming year – how you could be opposed to that?” Millar said. “Above all, we have to be concerned about the rights of those who are tragically impacted by drunk-driving accidents every year in our state.

“We’ll continue to stand up for their rights to hold drunk drivers accountable for their actions and to secure the compensation they deserve for the harm they have suffered.”

About Millar & Mixon, LLC

The Atlanta personal injury law firm of Millar & Mixon, LLC, based in Atlanta, GA, focuses on representing persons injured in car, truck, motorcycle, bus and other motor vehicle accidents. The firm also handles DUI cases, slip and fall injuries and animal attacks and bites, among other personal injury claims. Since 1993 Atlanta attorney Bruce Millar has obtained judgments and settlements exceeding $60 million for his clients.

The firm represents Georgia accident and injury clients throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area and the state of Georgia, including Jonesboro, East Point, North Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Forest Park, College Park, Decatur, Roswell, Marietta, Peachtree City, Fayetteville and Riverdale. For more information, call (877) 475-7015 or contact the firm through its online form.

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