Hit and Run Laws by State

This site has now recorded nearly all 50 states hit and run laws - follow individual state link

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut
Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana
Iowa Kansas Kentucky * Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana * Nebraska Nevada
New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee
Texas Utah * Vermont Virginia Washington Washington DC West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming

* = 3 states where it is not a felony to flee the scene of a crash after killing someone

Why must each state sacrifice one of its own before politicians are motivated to make necessary changes in the law?

July 6, 2005  Copyright © 2005, West Frankfort Daily American
Governor teams up with State Police for DUI crackdown; Offenders will face stiffer penalties under new laws

By Tara Fasol  Wednesday, July 6, 2005 9:11 AM CDT  Staff Writer

As the Illinois State Police continue to crackdown on drunk driving with one of the largest efforts in state history, Governor Rod Blagojevich is getting on board the aggressive campaign by stiffening penalties for those convicted of DUI (driving under the influence).
"The governor signed new legislation yesterday," said ISP Master Sgt. Mike Hooks. "What it did was enhance the penalty for DUI."
On the Fourth of July, the governor signed several bills that aimed at driving home the importance of safety behind the wheel, primarily targeting those whose intoxicated driving results in the death of another person.
"The enhancements have been there, but specifically what this did was limit probation for reckless homicide," Hooks added. "It takes away from the discretion of the judge a little bit by mandating prison time."
House bill 1081 mandates 3-years to 14-years behind bars for anyone convicted of aggravated DUI that results in the death of one or more persons.
The only exceptions will be a court deemed exclusion for extraordinary circumstances.
"I think it is long over due," Hooks said.
In other legislation targeting hit-and-run drivers, anyone leaving the scene of an accident will be required to submit to chemical testing within 12 hours of the incident or face losing their license.
Although drivers license suspension is a big part of DUI penalty, ISP officials say it's not always punishment that is heeded to by the individuals.
"Most of the time when people get their drivers license revoked it's for driving under the influence," said trooper Ray Minor. "A lot of the time when people get their drivers license revoked they continue to drive."
Those drivers taking to the road with a revoked license will be hit especially hard if they are found to be over the legal alcohol limit as House bill 888 makes driving under the influence on a revoked license a felony charge with much stiffer repercussions.
On a fifth through ninth notice, a person can now be sentenced anywhere from 1-years to 3-years on the class four felony.
Offenses for the 10th through 14th time are now a class three felony and punishable with up to 5-years in prison.
At 15 or more notices a person will have committed a class two felony and could possibly serve up to 7-years in prison.
"The stiffer the penalties the less likely people are to commit the crime," Minor said.
The bills are not only aimed at punishing drunk drivers but also at protecting child passengers in vehicles where the driver is intoxicated.
Those persons, over the age of 21, who are transporting a child under the age of 16, while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other stimulant's will face tightened punishment, as well.
Other bills dealing with the crackdown on drunk driving also passed the governor's desk with a signature. Blagojevich said he is hoping to make 2005 a record year just as 2004 proved to be in terms of Illinois road safety.
In 2004, Illinois roads were the safest they had been in over 60-years, according to the governor.
"Someone dies every day in our state because of drunk drivers," Blagojevich said. "We will not tolerate drunk driving, and that's why I'm signing new laws to crack down on drunk drivers."
The weeks surrounding the Fourth of July is statistically one of the deadliest driving seasons.
In 2003, 514 motorists died in nationwide traffic crashes. Records show that 55-percent of those crashes were alcohol related. In Illinois, 23 individuals were killed and on a yearly basis, nearly 40-percent of all traffic crashes in the state are the result of alcohol.
Nationally, alcohol related fatalities are on a decline with nine fewer people killed from 2002 to 2003 and 2004 setting an all-time low in traffic safety numbers.

06/04/05 Penalties Increased for Deadly Drivers in New York

New York Governor George E. Pataki has signed two bills into law that will help protect New Yorkers against hit and run drivers and drunk drivers. The new laws not only increase penalties for deadly drivers who leave the scene of an accident, but also eliminate the need for prosecutors to prove criminal negligence in order to charge a drunken driver with a felony.

.....The current law did not distinguish between leaving the scene of an incident involving a “serious physical injury” and an incident involving a “fatal injury” charging both as a class E felony. The new legislation will elevate the crime of leaving the scene of an incident involving a fatal injury to a class D felony, with a maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. This legislation also elevates the crime of leaving the scene of an incident involving personal injury, which under current law is a class B misdemeanor (maximum sentence of up to 90 days in jail), to a class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail, with a second or subsequent violation could be charged as a class E felony.

01/13/04 Informational roadblocks OK'ed

The Supreme Court ruled today that police roadblocks, when setup to ask for or distribute information, are permissible. The decision overturns an Illinois Supreme Court decision that ruled that a 1997 roadblock set up to distribute information about a hit and run had been an unconstitutional violation of the rights of the drivers. In Illinois v Lidster, one driver nearly hit an officer who had been asking about the hit and run. When officers approached the driver, they detected alcohol on his breath and he was taken into custody for drunk driving. Lidster challenged the arrest on the grounds that the roadblock was unconstitutional. The decision was unanimous in part, with three justices joining in an in-part dissent.


Harsher hit-and-run penalties now law in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill into law Nov. 12  (2003) increasing penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident involving deaths or injuries.
Doyle told reporters it was unacceptable that those leaving the scene of an accident faced lesser penalties than if they had stayed and rendered what could be lifesaving aid.
With these harsher penalties, it is my hope that we will be able to encourage individuals to stay at the scene of an accident, assist the injured and take responsibility for their actions,” Doyle said.
Under the previous hit-and-run law, penalties varied for drivers who fled the scene of an accident, depending on whether a person was injured in the accident and on the severity of injuries, Milwaukee’s WDJT TV reported recently.
Fleeing the scene of an injury accident carried a fine up to $10,000 and a prison term of 42 months. A person who failed to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in a person’s death could be fined up to $10,000 and spend up to six years in prison.
AB375 increases the penalties for someone who fails to remain at the scene of an injury accident to no more than $50,000 and 15 years behind bars. A person failing to remain at the scene of a deadly accident could face fines up to $100,000 and 25 years in prison.


12/1/2003  SMITHFIELD, N.C.

The state of North Carolina is trying to have more impact on hit-and-run accidents. Jim Avery and his wife, Jennifer, a victim of a hit-and-run driver, still don't know who struck her. Starting Monday, anyone convicted of leaving the scene of an accident could lose his or her license for two years. Past hit-and-run victims and their families hope the new law makes a difference. A hit-and-run driver, in a split second, changed Jim Avery's world. Avery's wife, Jennifer, was walking along a road with her stepdaughter when a car came along, crossed the center line and struck Jennifer from behind. The stepdaughter was not hurt. But the vehicle sent Jennifer -- who was six months pregnant -- flying off the road. She survived, but lost her baby. Jim Avery said Jennifer never knew what hit her. "When I got there, she was lying right beside the road," he said. "Her shoe was thrown way off. The first thing was just to keep her calm and relaxed until the ambulance got there. That was hard to do." Investigators are still looking for the suspect in that hit-and-run. Anyone with information about the Aug. 14 incident is asked to call the Highway Patrol. WRAL asked Jim Avery if the new, tougher hit-and-run law would be a deterrent. "I think it will probably happen no matter what the law is," he said. It is hard to disagree when other incidents are considered, like the hit-and-run along I-40 that killed University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sports broadcaster Stephen Gates. But, now, it's the law: you can lose your license for two years for a hit-and-run. Jim Avery hopes some drivers' actions change along with the law.

Courtesy - wral.com

2002 Ten deadliest US cities for pedestrians / see December 2004 news for 2003 list
1.  Orlando
2.  Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
3.  West Palm Beach-Boca Raton
4.  Memphis
5.  Jacksonville
6.  Miami-Fort Lauderdale
7.  Houston-Galveston-Brazoria
8.  Phoenix-Mesa
9.  Dallas-Fort Worth
10. Nashville

New York

On November 3rd, Governor Pataki signed a law that increases the penalty for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident where a guide, service or hearing dog has been struck and either injured or killed. Current law requires a driver whose car hits a dog, cat, horse or cattle, to stop, attempt to locate the animal’s owner or law enforcement in the area, and take other reasonable steps to ensure that the animal receives necessary attention.

New Jersey

Hit-and-run law draws interest

MILLVILLE -- Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew has renewed an effort to move hit-and-run legislation through the Assembly in light of the Jan. 17 death of a Hammonton man.

Robert Wickham, 18, was killed when his car was run over by a tractor-trailer after a head-on collision on Route 54.

Van Drew's legislation would make knowingly leaving the scene of a fatal accident a second-degree crime instead of third-degree. Another proposal would direct the Attorney General to study the feasibility of using public awareness methods to apprehend hit-and-run perpetrators.

1/22/05 The Daily Journal

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