A recent chain reaction crash in Atlanta led police to an odd discovery: a group of intoxicated drivers in one location. The Fourth of July weekend accident ended with a seven-car pileup and drunk driving charges handed down to at least five of the seven drivers.
Police say the initial accident that sparked the trouble on I-75 happened when a pedestrian stumbled out into the lane of traffic on the interstate. Authorities say shortly after three in the morning a pedestrian walked onto the side of I-75 near the Atlanta airport and was struck by a vehicle.
That initial accident then led six other vehicles to collide in a chain-reaction pileup that blocked all lanes of the interstate for more than six hours. Five of the seven drivers were immediately taken to jail on drunk driving charges. Police say the pedestrian is still in a local hospital recovering from serious injuries and is facing a pedestrian in roadway charge once he recovers.
Authorities say that the drivers who have been charged with the DUIs ranged in age from 23 to 38. Authorities say that every single driver, even those not intoxicated, were either following another vehicle too closely or were otherwise not driving safely. Everyone received a citation for unsafe driving and the majority received impaired driving citations. Police say they are currently investigating whether all the drivers were coming from the same place or if it was instead a random occurrence that so many impaired drivers were in the same spot on the interstate at the same time.
The incident is a very rare occurrence according to experts who say it is incredibly surprising to have a multiple vehicle pileup involve multiple intoxicated drivers. The fact that the accident took place over such a busy and often alcohol-friendly holiday weekend may help explain its occurrence and why so many people may have been impaired.
Across the country, whether in Georgia or here in Minnesota, the summer months are considered among the most dangerous for those who have been drinking to get behind the wheel. Given the numerous outdoor gatherings with alcohol present, police officers are always on high alert for drunk drivers and make a concerted effort to crack down on impaired driving.
If you intend to go out and celebrate over the busy summer months, it is essential that you have a designated driver in place. If you are unable to find someone who is willing to stay sober, then you need to take a cab or find some other way home. The fact is too many cops understand the temptation to drive after drinking a few and they will be looking for any reason to pull you over. As cases like this one demonstrate, the actions of others can also get you busted for drunk driving and you never know when another driver will cause an accident that leads to your arrest.
Source: “5 charged with DUI in early morning 7-car pile-up in Clayton County,” by Marcus Garner, published at AJC.com.