A suspected drunk driver who was initially released on bond is back in jail and facing an even longer list of charges, reports the Newnan Times-Herald.
One Accident, Multiple Charges
The story demonstrates how one incident can result in multiple serious criminal charges in Georgia.
According to the Newnan Times-Herald, Gloria Blevins' vehicle allegedly struck a child who was getting off a school bus on October 30. Blevins reportedly left the scene of the accident and was later arrested at her home. The 5-year-old suffered multiple broken bones and spent several weeks in the hospital.
The original charges against Blevins include:
- DUI less safe. While most people are aware that it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over a certain level, it is possible to be charged with DUI, even if your BAC is below the legal limit. The definition of DUI less safe is that the person is "under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive," with no reference to a particular BAC. This charge is just as serious as a regular DUI in Georgia.
- Leaving the scene of an accident with an injury. This is also called a hit and run. A driver involved in an accident that causes injuries cannot leave the scene of the accident. The driver must also render reasonable assistance to the injured person, if possible.
- Duty upon meeting a stopped school bus. Georgia law requires that drivers meeting or overtaking a school bus stop before reaching the bus.
The police obtained a search warrant and took a blood sample from Blevins. During Blevins' arraignment this month, she was formally charged. At the arraignment, the state said Blevins' blood test showed her blood alcohol content (BAC) was actually .219. This is nearly three times the legal limit in Georgia.
At the arraignment, the state also added new charges to the list of Blevins' alleged crimes: causing serious injury by vehicle and cruelty to children. DUI with injury is an offense that involves "aggravated circumstances." Charges involving aggravated circumstances can often result in increased charges and penalties. Blevins' high BAC could be another aggravating circumstance.
"Severe Recklessness" in an "Extreme Case"
Blevins had posted bond the day after her arrest, and she had been out of jail since the end of October. However, the court revoked Blevins' bond at her arraignment, sending her back to jail.
Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer acknowledged that his decision to send Blevins back to jail was unusual. However, he said: "This is a pretty extreme case, and the blood alcohol content is extremely high which indicates severe recklessness on her behalf."
Have You Been Accused of Multiple Driving Crimes, Including DUI?
Many people who are facing multiple driving charges, in addition to DUI, assume there is nothing they can do to fight such serious charges. However, an arrest does not mean you are guilty. Even if you were involved in an accident, are accused of injuring someone, or were found to have a high BAC, an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney can help.