A DUI can be dismissed or reduced to a charge less serious than DUI when your attorney investigates and finds a weakness in the Officer's DUI case. To increase the chance of a good outcome for your case, hire an experienced DUI attorney soon. They will immediately challenge your license suspension, what you refer to as filling out an appeal, and should investigate the strengths and weaknesses of your case between today and your first day in court. When you enter court you have a plan and...
You should pursue a claim against the person if they can be found, if not in Georgia we have uninsured motorist coverage that your own insurance company provides to protect you in a cases like this where there the other driver has no insurance or cannot be identified.
If the ticket is paid you have pled guilty though bond forfeiture. Your best chance to undo this is to hire a local attorney in Butts County who could approach the court and prosecutor about withdrawing your conviction.
If neither of the first two DUIs are pled and sentenced then a judge would have the discretion to treat it as a first lifetime.. Practically speaking this is unlikely, the judge will likely give an increased sentence for the third, but if all three cases are pending in the same court, an attorney could make a strong argument that we all knew there was a problem with alcohol and the court will be monitoring his recovery, when he fails again that would be the time to give a dramatic jail sentence.
Yes you need a lawyer. When a drunk driver causes a wreck it allows the person struck, you, to pursue damages for your medical bills, pain, property damage, and punitive damages. Because the other driver was drunk you should be seeking a policy limit resolution, as in more money than you might have expected, and generally the insurance company of the drunk driver will want to settle because juries are more willing to side with you here.
The driver is the obvious first choice for causation of the death. That being said an aggressive attorney will at some point depose the passengers and if there is a legal argument their negligence somehow lead to the death then yes. In a serious case like this all insurance policies should be pursued until it is clear based on the facts of the case and the language on the contract of the insurance policy that it will not cover the death.