Sandy Springs Officer Hospitalized After Being Hit By Suspected Drunk Driver
A metro Atlanta police officer remains in the hospital after his patrol car was hit by a suspected drunk driver on Ga. 400 in Sandy Springs recently. According to the police report, the officer had pulled over another vehicle on the shoulder of Windsor Parkway and was sitting in his patrol car with his emergency lights flashing when another car, driven by 24-year-old Khiry Smith of Atlanta, collided with the back right corner of the patrol car. The impact caused extensive damage to the vehicle and propelled debris into the highway ahead of the car.
Smith has been arrested and charged with a number of offenses, including driving under the influence and with an open container, reckless driving, and violating Georgia’s “Move Over” law.
No updates on the condition of the officer have been released, however Atlanta metro police have reiterated the importance of not drinking and driving. They are encouraging everyone to utilize rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft, rather than driving while intoxicated. They have also emphasized that the “Move Over” law is critical to protecting officers on the job. It is safe to assume that they will be increasing the enforcement of this law to increase both awareness and compliance.
Georgia’s “Move Over” Law
Every state has a “Move Over” Law requiring drivers to move over, creating a buffer lane, when they see police officers, emergency workers, utility workers, or motorists, on the side of the road. These laws exist in order to reduce the risk of serious injury and death to police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, construction workers, and other individuals who may be voluntarily or involuntarily in a very vulnerable position on the side of the highway. The most common cause of death for police officers in the line of duty is traffic accidents. Over 25% of these deaths occur when an officer is outside of their vehicle on a highway shoulder and is struck from behind by a passing vehicle.
In Georgia, the “Move Over” Law requires motorists to move over to the next lane (if able to do so safely) when they see emergency, sanitation, or utility vehicles on the shoulder. If a driver is unable to move over safely to another lane, they should reduce their speed significantly below the posted limit and be prepared to come to a complete stop.
Consult a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense, it’s important to contact an experienced Georgia criminal attorney as soon as possible. Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys serve Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, and are prepared to zealously advocate on your behalf and ensure the best possible outcome. Contact Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.