Police in Gwinnett County are still searching for David Quintanar, an eighteen-year-old who, according to reports, has several warrants out of Gwinnett and Walton County. Reports in Florida state that he also has outstanding warrants in that state as well.
Gwinnett police reported that Quintanar led them on a chase through traffic reaching speeds as fast as 90 miles per hour. Eventually, the pursuing officers called off the chase as a result of safety precautions. Later on in the day, investigators found Quintanar's car abandoned in a deserted area. There were Gwinnett County jail property records inside the car which is how he was identified.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the offense behind a police chase in today's post.
Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia
In O.C.G.A. §40-6-395, fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia is defined 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. Any person shall be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor.
As you can see from the law above, just committing the crime of fleeing or attempting to elude is classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor in Georgia.
There are also circumstances that will elevate the crime of fleeing to a felony offense. The law goes on to state that:
Any person while fleeing or attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle or police officer in an attempt to escape arrest for any offense, other than a violation of this chapter not expressly provided for in this paragraph:
(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
shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years or both.
As you can see from the rest of the statute, the circumstances above make the penalties for a fleeing or attempting to elude conviction that much more serious.
If you or a loved one has been accused or arrested for a serious traffic violation such as DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today. A Georgia DUI Attorney specializes in all offenses related to DUI. Call us today.