A very sad tragedy occurred for a Clayton County, Georgia family this past weekend. Franky J. Cassidy, a 24-year-old man was struck and killed while riding his motorcycle home from work. Marvlyn Eugene Martin, was drunk driving when he ran into Cassidy's motorcycle head on at 4 a.m.
Police stated that Martin had a blood-alcohol count of .192 percent, more than double the legal limit. Martin was charged with driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle and other traffic violations.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that as of yesterday, Martin was held without bond on the homicide charge in the Clayton County jail.
The fact that Martin was driving intoxicated will certainly be admissible and would be the primary factor for proving punitive damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. At a trial of any civil or criminal action arising from actions alleged to have been committed by any person in violation of O.C.G.A. 40-6-391, evidence of the amount of drug or alcohol in a person's blood, breath, urine or other bodily fluid at the alleged time, as determined by chemical analysis shall be admissible. Cheevers v. Clark, 214 Ga. App. 866 (1994).
When a police officer requests a driver to submit to a chemical test because of actions alleged to have been conducted while driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the police officer arrests that persons, O.C.G.A. 40-6-392 requires that the police officer informs him at the time of the arrest of his or her right to an independent analysis to test the amount of drugs or alcohol present in the blood stream in order for the test administered by the police to be admissible at trial to prove the accused was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Carswell v. State, 171 Ga. App. 455 (1984).
For more information on wrongful death legal matters, contact Williams Oinonen LLC at 404-654-0288.