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Atlanta Police Officers Absent at Many DUI Hearings

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,597 people were killed in United States traffic accidents in December 2010. Of those, 775 deaths involved alcohol-impaired drivers.

 

Georgia's Driving Under the Influence Laws are complex. Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith can sort through the intermingled laws that potentially create complications in a DUI case.

 

According to an investigation by a local television station, many Atlanta law enforcement officers do not appear at DUI hearings.

 

While researching for a story about drivers who refused to submit to blood alcohol tests, reporters with ABC affiliate WSB-TV Channel 2 discovered that while Georgia State Patrol troopers appeared, Atlanta police officers rarely attended. Reporters attended 22 Atlanta hearings and found that Atlanta police officers were present for only five of them.

 

Pursuant to Georgia's DUI laws, there is an implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Drivers who refuse to take the test may have their license suspended. However, the court needs testimony from the arresting police officers in order to suspend the license. A court will not suspend a DUI offender's license if an officer does not appear at a hearing.

 

Unlike Georgia State Patrol troopers who have a department-supported attorney present at DUI hearings, Atlanta police officers do not have legal counsel present. Atlanta officers would be subjected to the accused DUI offender's defense attorney without having the benefit of legal assistance.

 

If you have questions about Georgia DUI laws, get the answers in Clayton County DUI injury attorney Shane Smith's book, I Was Hit By a Drunk Driver: What Do I Do Next? Contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith to schedule a free legal consultation at (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia