An alleged drunk driver and her baby were rescued by first responders on December 28, 2018, from a flooding creek in Lumpkin County, Georgia. Video captured the moment that firefighters used a ladder to save the mother and her child.
Andrea Marie McMeans, 29, of Dahlonega, was rescued along with her two-month-old baby boy. According to Georgia State Patrol, McMeans was driving her vehicle, a 1996 Ford Ranger, on Clay Creek Falls Road while it was raining, and she suddenly went down a small embankment, hit a tree, and landed in the creek. The truck was then washed downstream around 300 feet, but it then became stuck.
The cab was still sticking out of the water when law enforcement arrived on the scene, but the lower half was submerged. The current was so strong firefighters could not go in the water. Firefighters had to create a rope-rigging system with a ladder in order to get McMeans and her infant son out of the truck and safely away from the raging creek. Neither McMeans or her child were hurt, but both were taken to the hospital out of precaution.
During the investigation of the incident, facts led officers to believe that McMeans was intoxicated at the time of the accident. She has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), DUI child endangerment, and failure to maintain lane.
DUI Child Endangerment
Any time that a driver can be charged with a Georgia DUI and children under the age of 14 are in the vehicle, the driver can be charged with DUI child endangerment. This means that for one drunk driving arrest, you could face multiple charges and multiple convictions.
It is counted as a separate offense for each child and for purposes of license suspension. It may contribute to you being considered a habitual DUI offender and can lead to extremely harsh penalties. These harsh penalties could include prison or jail time, high fines, loss of employment, and status as a felon.
Potential for Felony DUI
Normally, a DUI charge is a misdemeanor crime in the state of Georgia. However, a person charged with their fourth DUI offense within the last ten years may be charged with a felony DUI. A felony DUI carries much stricter penalties, along with all of the impacts a felony conviction will carry. Felons will find it harder to find and maintain employment and may have their voting rights impacted.
With a serious of DUI child endangerment charges stacked upon you as well, you can face a felony DUI after only your first or second DUI charge. If you have multiple children in the vehicle, you may face multiple DUI child endangerment charges, which are treated as separate DUI offenses for each.
Consult a Forsyth County DUI Attorney
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, or DUI child endangerment, an experienced Forsyth DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.