Atlanta, Ga. – A very interesting story made local headlines today within the City of Atlanta. According to reports, a driver got into an accident early this afternoon on the Downtown Connector. Officers arrived on the scene to investigate the wreck and learned that the driver had an active arrest warrant. The driver then fled the scene on foot.
He ran across several lanes of traffic and hijacked a HERO unit that had arrived on the scene to help with the wreck. He then drove the HERO unit onto I-20 East weaving in and out of traffic. This led to several state troopers adding to the pursuit as well as DeKalb County police. The chase ended when the driver crashed into a total of seven different patrol cars with the HERO unit near Columbia Drive. He was then cornered by police and arrested.
The man is facing several different felonies as well as misdemeanor offenses. However, as an Atlanta DUI Attorney, I will focus on the felony traffic-related offense in today's post as well as the law behind it – fleeing police in Atlanta.
Fleeing Police in Atlanta
Fleeing is defined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-395 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.
The penalties if convicted can include up to $5000 in fines and between ten days and twelve months in jail.
However, as displayed in the story above, there are also situations in which the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is escalated to a felony offense. These situations include when a driver flees and:
- Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
- Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
- Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
- Commits a violation of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391; or
- Leaves the State.
If convicted of felony fleeing or attempting to elude, the penalty can include up to five years in prison.
If charged with a serious traffic violation in the City of Atlanta, call an Atlanta DUI Lawyer now.