Often the charges of hit and run and driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol will be charged out of the same set of circumstances. This typically arises when an allegedly intoxicated person strikes another vehicle (or a person) with his or her car and leaves the scene. Both charges individually are serious crimes, with serious penalties. Together, the impact on your rights and freedoms becomes all the more extreme.
Understanding how a hit and run charge can complicate your DUI case is important to knowing the risks you face. With the help of an experienced DeKalb County DUI attorney, you can feel confident in knowing that your constitutional rights are being protected.
Georgia Hit and Run Laws
A hit and run includes any accident where one driver leaves the scene of an accident before Georgia law enforcement has arrived. Depending on the facts of your case, there are three Georgia statutes which may apply.
When an accident involves injury or death to a person or where damage occurs to a vehicle which is being driven by a person, this provision applies. It requires that drivers stop as close as possible to the accident and return as soon as possible to the scene. It also requires the driver to:
- Provide a name, address, and registration number of the vehicle;
- Provide a driver's license;
- Render any injured person reasonable assistance, including transportation to medical care; and
- When a person is unconscious, appears deceased, or is unable to communicate to contact emergency medical services.
If the accident results in death or serious injury, and the driver does not stop or immediately return, he or she is guilty of a felony and will be imprisoned for not less than five years.
A person who is involved in a vehicle accident which results in an apparent extent of $500 or more must immediately give notice of the accident to the local police department within that municipality.
Remember, a single scratch on a car could easily cost more than $500 to repair, so even minor damage may subject you to this law.
If the driver of the vehicle hits any vehicle while it is left unattended, that driver must:
- immediately stop, and
- either locate and notify the operator or owner of the vehicle and provide contact information, or
- leave a written note in an easily visible spot on the vehicle providing contact information.
Failure to follow the rules in this law will result in a misdemeanor charge.
Together With DUI Charges
When combined with DUI charges, and depending on the facts of your hit and run, you will face multiple license suspensions and possible mandatory revocation of your right to drive. You may also face increased jail or even prison time, and high fines.
Consult a DeKalb County DUI Attorney
DUI charges combined with hit and run charges can lead to very serious criminal penalties and may result in the loss of your ability to drive.