Atlanta, Ga. - The Atlanta Police Department released a statement earlier this week that officers with the department will no longer be responding to car accidents that do not involve injuries.
It was explained that, "To protect the health and safety of our staff and customers, and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the Atlanta Police Department will not be dispatched to the scene of non-injury automobile accidents.”
As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, I handle many DUI cases that involve accidents as well as many felony cases that involve drivers not following the laws that the state of Georgia has in place regarding responsibilities of a driver after an accident has occurred.
The City of Atlanta is requesting that if a driver has been involved in an accident that does not involve any injuries that he or she fills out a SR-13 form that can be found on the department's website.
Remember that this policy only exists within the City of Atlanta at the present moment. It is not the policy of other Metro Atlanta municipalities.
In today's post, I will outline what usually happens when a person does not follow through with the responsibilities that are laid out by the law of this state.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Leaving the scene of an accident is defined in O.C.G.A. §40-6-270. The law states that:
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.
Hit and run can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the results of the accident. If such accident is the proximate cause of death or a serious injury, any person knowingly failing to stop and comply with the requirements 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. If such accident is the proximate cause of an injury other than a serious injury or if such accident resulted in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person, any person knowingly failing to stop or comply with the requirements of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than $300.00 nor more than $1,000.00, which fine shall not be subject to suspension, stay, or probation, or imprisoned for up to 12 months, or both.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a serious traffic violation such as leaving the scene of an accident or DUI in Atlanta, it is important that you call our offices as soon as possible.
We can help you determine what the next right action is for you and your loved ones. Call our offices now.