Ringgold, Ga. - According to reports out of Northwest Georgia, two people died as the result of a police chase this past Thursday off of I-75.
The police chase began when a man reported a carjacking from a local gas station. The man had left his keys inside his car while he went inside to the convenience store. The suspect who allegedly stole the car was quickly located by deputies with Catoosa County.
The driver allegedly led the chase at over 100 MPH. He ended up striking another vehicle which sent one of the cars across the northbound lanes and straight into oncoming traffic. Both the driver leading the chase and the driver of the car that was hit died as a result of the collision.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of leading a police chase - also known as fleeing or attempting to elude.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-395 defines the offense of Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia as:
It shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle willfully to fail or refuse to bring his or her vehicle to a stop or otherwise to flee or attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer when given a visual or an audible signal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform prominently displaying his or her badge of office, and his or her vehicle shall be appropriately marked showing it to be an official police vehicle.
A first time offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor in the state of Georgia. This means that if a person is convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude, he or she is facing up to 12 months of jail time as well as fines up to $5,000.
However, there are circumstances that can exacerbate the penalties associated with a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude. These circumstances include when a driver flees and:
(i) Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
(ii) Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
(iii) Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
(iv) Commits a violation of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391; or
(v) Leaves the state.
If a driver flees under any one of the above-mentioned circumstances, then a person is facing a felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude.
Call a Georgia DUI Attorney today if you have been arrested. We can help you now.