Atlanta Police are searching for the driver of a Mercedes Benz SUV.
According to reports, the driver fled the scene after a routine traffic stop. Georgia State Troopers noticed that the driver failed to maintain lane on Piedmont Road. This occurred just before 11:00pm on Thursday night. The driver then allegedly led troopers on a chase through Buckhead.
The chase ended in a crash where the vehicle caught on fire. The driver then proceeded to run away on foot.
As a Georgia DUI Attorney, I have a lot of experience with traffic stops escalating into more charges. Failure to maintain lane most often leads to more charges as does fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia. If you have been charged with DUI, then you were most likely pulled over for allegedly committing some other type of traffic violation. In today's post, I will focus on the offense of failure to maintain lane.
Failure to Maintain Lane in Georgia
Georgia Law defines failure to maintain lane in Georgia in the statute, O.C.G.A. §40-6-48, as:
When a road has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic, a vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.
As you can see the law regarding maintaining lane is ambiguous. The statute seems to suggest that so long as the failure to maintain lane is exercised safely - it is lawful.
A conviction for failure to maintain lane is a misdemeanor that results in a small fine and three points added to the driver's license. However, as you can see from the story above, failure to maintain lane charges typically result in more charges. This can result in more penalties.
For example, many times a driver is pulled over for failing to maintain their lane and the routine traffic stop leads to a DUI investigation. Failure to maintain lane is the most common reason a driver is stopped and questioned about drinking and driving. Many Georgia Courts hold that failing to maintain one's lane is the basis for a lawful traffic stop.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today. The reality is that with charges such as failure to maintain lane, drivers are entitled to weave outside of their lane if it is first ascertained that it is safe to do so.