Implications of a Hit and Run DUI
After an accident, people can be tempted to flee the scene rather than risk the financial hit that comes from insurance, and payments to the other people involved. However, when the driver has been drinking, even if they don't feel impaired, they may try to get away to avoid not only the financial costs, but also the criminal penalties. If arrested for a hit and run charge, the penalties will be much greater than with a DUI alone.
Under Georgia law, a driver has a duty to stop at the scene of an accident if it results in injury or damage to the vehicle. The driver shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene, or as close as possible and return to the accident. The driver is also required to provide:
- Their name, address and registration number of the vehicle;
- Upon request, show their driver's license;
- Reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including transport, making arrangements for transport, to a doctor or hospital for treatment if necessary;
- Effort to ensure EMS and law enforcement are contacted where a person is unconscious, deceased, or unable to communicate.
Failure to provide the above after an accident without a serious injury, or where damage was done to a vehicle, can result in a misdemeanor charge, with up to 12 months in prison, and a of fine between $300 to $1,000. If the accident involved a serious injury or death, then it is a felony hit and run. This could include up to 5 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year.
Even hitting a vehicle without anyone in it can end in penalties if the driver doesn't take certain measures. The law requires a driver involved in a collision with an unattended vehicle to immediately stop and either locate the driver, or leave a note in a conspicuous place for the owner or driver to find later. the notice should include the name and and address of the driver. Failing to provide this information is a misdemeanor offense.
A driver who is worried about getting arrested for drunk driving may be tempted to flee the scene after an accident. However, this will usually only add additional charges to the DUI. A DUI in most cases, is not a felony. It is a misdemeanor. While a DUI can result in jail time, a suspended license, DUI school, higher insurance rates, and even community service, it won't put a felony conviction on your record. However, a DUI with a hit and run charge can end with a felony conviction when it involves an injury.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, you need the advice of a knowledgeable and courtroom experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer. Our skilled lawyers have been representing clients charged with DUIs, hit and run, and other alcohol-related charges for years, and we will defend your rights. Call us now to keep your driver's license, and keep you out of jail.