Police in Sandy Springs are searching for a driver who has been accused of hitting three vehicles on I-285 near Northside Drive early this morning.
According to reports, two vehicles initially crashed and pulled to the side of the highway. After that initial accident, a tractor trailer driver pulled over to help. All three vehicles were then hit by what has been reported as a blue Ford Mustang.
If the facts that have been reported are true, then the driver is facing some pretty serious charges. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind one of the offenses that he or she is definitely facing: leaving the scene of an accident.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Georgia
Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law as a violation of O.C.G.A. §40-6-270. This statute outlines the responsibilities that every driver must take care of if he or she is in an accident.
The law is as follows:
The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or the death of any person or in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident or shall stop as close thereto as possible and forthwith return to the scene of the accident and shall:
(1) Give his or her name and address and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving;
(2) Upon request and if it is available, exhibit his or her operator's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with;
(3) Render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the transporting, or the making of arrangements for the transporting, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such transporting is requested by the injured person; and
(4) Where a person injured in such accident is unconscious, appears deceased, or is otherwise unable to communicate, make every reasonable effort to ensure that emergency medical services and local law enforcement are contacted for the purpose of reporting the accident and making a request for assistance. The driver shall in every event remain at the scene of the accident until fulfilling the requirements of this subsection. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.
(b) If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
Most of the time, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a misdemeanor offense. However, if the accident is the cause of death or a serious injury by vehicle in Georgia, then the driver will be facing a felony offense with penalties of up to five years in prison.
Moreover, if you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident, you will face at the very least a four-month driver's license suspension. You may qualify for a limited permit in some situations.
However, the penalties only increase if you have prior offenses or are convicted of an offense that carries its own suspension, along with the Hit and Run, you may be facing a "hard suspension" of your license. A hard suspension means you will have no license or permit.
Just like any kind of serious traffic violation, such as DUI in Georgia, leaving the scene of an accident should not be taken lightly. However, there are situations in which drivers are wrongly accused of a violation. Whatever the case may be, if you or a loved one has been arrested or cited, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today.