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DUI Drivers and Punitive Drivers (10-03-13)

By Evan L. Kaine

Most, if not all of us, have heard the Public Service Announcements begging us not to drink and drive.  Yet, some ignore the pleas because they think it will not happen to them.

Recently, a young man named Matthew Cordle got drunk, got behind the wheel, drove the wrong way on a one-way street, and killed a man.  Matthew could have been any one of those people who believe it will not happen to them.

Because of Matt Cordle’s now viral YouTube video confession, the national news media has covered this story extensively (see CNN.com).  Kaine Law’s founding attorney, Evan Kaine, commented on this story on the nationally syndicated radio morning show The Bert Show.

Mr. Cordle’s video confession recounts what happened the night that he killed Vincent Canzani.  As a result, Mr. Cordle’s fate is sealed and Mr. Canzani’s life is lost.

This is a scenario that we at Kaine Law see far too often.  But, the sentences that follow are not another Public Service Announcement.  Instead, this is a dose of harsh reality meant to resonate with those who would drive drunk as well as those who have suffered due to a drunk driver.

In Georgia, if you drink and drive and injure a person or their property, you are subject not only to criminal prosecution, but to a civil judgment as well.  Your victim can obtain a monetary judgment against you for actual damages AND punitive damages.

Punitive damages may be awarded where it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences.

If you, or a loved one, have been the victim of bodily injury or property damage at the hands of a drunk driver, Kaine Law is ready to fight for you!

Published October 16, 2013

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