Understanding Georgia Motor Vehicle Crash Report Codes
Drugs and alcohol significantly impair an individual’s ability to drive. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle while intoxicated in Georgia, regardless of what kind of substance causes your intoxication. As a result, there is a separate section on the Georgia motor vehicle crash report where officers can note any potential intoxication from drugs or alcohol. This section is referred to as Operator/Pedestrian Condition.
This section also allows officers to note other driver or pedestrian conditions that may have contributed to the accident, such as physical and emotional impairments. Even being angry or depressed can affect your ability to drive and maintain control of your vehicle. As a result, these items can be explicitly set out on the crash report.
If you’re dealing with an accident involving a drunk or impaired driver, our Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyers can help you.
What types of conditions may be noted on “Operator/Pedestrian Condition” section of the crash report?
Driver conditions can include the following:
- Not drinking. Accidents that do not involve any particular state will generally be noted as “not drinking.” Phrasing the crash report in this way virtually requires the officer to ask about other conditions as well as being under the influence of alcohol because that condition is widespread in Georgia.
- There will be situations where an officer may not be able to test or determine if a driver was under the influence of anything before the accident. The officer has the option to mark unknown. However, if testing occurs later, such as at the hospital, the officer may go back and amend the report to note the driver’s condition.
- U.I. Alcohol. “U.I.” in this context means “under the influence of.” The officer is permitted to note if they believe that the driver as consuming alcohol just before or during the collision. Keep in mind that the driver doesn’t have to be considered legally intoxicated for this notation to apply.
- U.I. Drugs. When a driver is under the influence of any type of drug, that can affect their ability to drive, even if it is a prescription medication. That means that “U.I. Drugs” can include both illegal and prescription medications.
- U.I. Alcohol & Drugs. Some drivers or pedestrians may be under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. Instead of putting down a code for each, there is a separate code for both substances.
- Physical impairment. A physical impairment can affect your ability to drive or walk. For example, if a pedestrian uses a walker, that will have an effect on their ability to move quickly across a street or over a driveway.
- Suspected fatigued or asleep. Drivers may fall asleep behind the wheel, or their fatigue may also affect their reaction time, causing an accident. Because it’s difficult to prove that a driver was tired or asleep, the officer can indicate their suspicion instead of indicating definitively that the driver was asleep or tired at the time of the crash.
- Emotional (depressed, angry, disturbed, etc.). A driver’s mental state will often have an effect on their ability to drive. Someone with road rage, for example, will not the drive the same way as someone who is calm and collected. Those who have mental disorders also may not be able to respond appropriately to certain situations while driving.
- Suspected U.I. (Alcohol and/or Drugs). When an officer cannot prove that a driver is under the influence, they can indicate their suspicion in this section.
This information will be helpful for your personal injury case. The officer’s notation about the state of a driver can be vital information about why the collision occurred.
Why does this section also apply to pedestrians?
While this section does focus on the state of the driver for most situations, it can also indicate the state of pedestrian too. Many times, a pedestrian will not be at fault for an accident. But, there are circumstances where a pedestrian may cause or contribute to a crash. For example, if a pedestrian walks out into traffic because they were intoxicated, that should be noted on the crash report. Having that type of information also explains why an accident occurred in the first place.
Getting the Legal Help You Need
The condition of the parties involved will have an impact on your car accident case. In fact, you may be surprised just how much this section can help your case. John Foy & Associates can help follow up on the information contained in this section as part of your lawsuit. Learn more by meeting with a member of our team. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.