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Recession Affecting Drunk Driver Arrests in Atlanta

Atlanta car accident attorneys have been bombarded with explanations for the decline in drunk driving accident numbers in Atlanta over the past couple of years. One widely held theory has been that law enforcement agencies have been getting tougher about cracking down on intoxicated motorists. However, this increased crackdown by law enforcement on drunk drivers could actually be courtesy of the recession.

The Augusta Chronicle recently published a report on how cash-strapped law enforcement agencies are now forced to conduct stationery checkpoints instead of the usual highway patrols. Law-enforcement budgets across the state have been slashed, and Atlanta has been no exception. These agencies have been informed that they have to conserve fuel to cut costs. One of the ways they have done this is by having more stationary roadblocks.

Stationary roadblocks may be a slower and more primitive way to pull drunk offenders over, but it has actually led to an increase in the number of DUI arrests. According to the report, the number of citations issued by the Georgia State Patrol for DUI increased by 37% in the four years since the recession kicked in. The Georgia State Patrol also increased the number of citations issued for seatbelt and child restraint infractions significantly. Tickets issued for motorists driving without insurance increased by 29%.

Apparently, all of this has been possible because officers have access to more information when they are looking into a drunk driver’s car, than when they are engaged in hot pursuit. For instance, a person could be driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than .08, without any impact on his driving ability. Such persons may escape an officer in his car, but the signs of intoxication will be very visible to an officer peering into his window. That has meant more DUI arrests, and possibly contributed to the fewer drunk driving accidents in the state. So, the question becomes, does the increase in drunk driving arrests lead to a decrease in the number of drunk driving accidents. At first blush, this would seem to be the case, as less drunk drivers on the road means less chance of a drunk driving accident. If this is, indeed, the case, it is a good development as many of my clients have been seriously injured by Atlanta drunk drivers.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.