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Athens, Georgia is a special town to many in Georgia, because the University
of Georgia is located in Athens. Being a college town, the city is a vibrant,
intellectual city, full of interesting people and quirky, fun shops and

But Athens, Georgia has a serious problem with fatal car accidents, and
as a lawyer who handles Athens car wreck death cases, I wanted to talk
about the fact that, given the relative size of the city, Athens has an
unusually large number of fatal car wrecks, and an unusually high percentage
of those fatal auto accidents involve drunk drivers.

In 2009, 18 people were killed in 16 car wrecks in Athens, a rate of .016%.
11 of the 16 deadly car wrecks in Athens – 69% — involved
drunk drivers.

To give you an idea of just how significant those number are, we can compare
what happened in 2009 inAthens, Georgia, which has a population of just over 115,000, to what happened in 2009
in Atlanta – which has a population of 420,003. In 2009, 47 people
were killed in the city of Atlanta in 45 accidents, a rate of .011%. Twelve
of the 45 accidents – 27% — involved drunk drivers.

Although 2009 saw a higher number of deaths from DUI car accidents in Athens
than other years did, the 2009 problem was by no means isolated.

In 2008, 13 people were killed in 13 Athens auto wrecks. Five of those
wrecks involved drunken drivers.

Eleven people lost their lives in 10 Athens car wrecks in 2007. Five of
the 10 wrecks are marked as “Drunken drivers: Inconsistent data.”

Twelve Athens DUI car wreck accidents left 12 more people dead in 2006.
Seven of the 12 accidents are marked as involving drivers who were drinking.

In 2005, Athens had 10 fatal car wrecks, and another 10 people were left
dead as a result. According to the data, 4 of the fatal car accidents
in Athens involved driving under the influence.

2004 was a much better year, and yet still, 4 people lost their lives in
4 car accidents in Athens. One wreck involved a drunk driver, and another
was marked as having “inconsistent data” about whether a drunk
driver was involved.

The dip in deaths in 2004 did not last, however, and in fact the year before
was much worse. Nine people died in nine Athens car crashes or accidents
in 2003. Only two of the Athens car wrecks involved drivers who had been
drinking before someone was killed in a car accident.

2002 saw an unusually large number of wrecks involving several fatalities.
Twelve people were killed in the car wrecks in Athens, although there
were only nine wrecks. One particularly tragic crash left three people
dead. Two of the crashes involved drunk drivers, and there was “inconsistent
data” about whether the driver in the crash that left three people
dead had been drinking.

2001 was an absolutely terrible year for deaths in car wrecks in Athens.
Fifteen people lost their lives in 13 car wrecks. Five of the 13 wrecks
involved drinking drivers.

Twelve people were killed on Athens roads in the year 2000. The deaths
were spread over 11 different accidents. According to the data, drunk
drivers were involved in 6 of the 11 crashes.


Lee’s peers have named her a Georgia SuperLawyer every year for two decades.