When a driver who has been involved in an accident flees the scene there are multiple reasons the individual could choose to continue on. One of the possibilities is that the person behind the wheel is not aware that he or she has struck another vehicle or pedestrian. More commonly however it is related to the driver not wanting to be caught behind the wheel since he or she shouldn't be there in the first place.
In some instances it is possible that the driver does not have a license and therefore is not supposed to be driving. In other cases the driver may be intoxicated at the time of the crash. In either of these cases the driver may be trying to get away to avoid getting in further trouble with the law. Criminal charges could be forthcoming if someone is the cause of an accident and they will likely be even worse if it is determined that another crime has been committed.
The difference between the mandatory minimum prison time for leaving the scene of an accident that occurred while driving under the influence compared to a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident is worth noting. The first is three years and the latter only one. Because of this difference there appears to be an incentive for individuals who are intoxicated to leave the scene so that they can sober up before facing the authorities.
Recognizing that the looming threat of more serious consequences could be the reason for so many hit-and-run accidents in the state of Pennsylvania, many are questioning whether new laws could reduce the number of drunk drivers who flee the scene. Accordingly, some are proposing that the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident should be the same as for those convicted of being involved in a fatal accident while under the influence. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe it would make a difference?
Source: The Mercury, "Pa. lawmakers propose tougher hit-run penalties for DUIs," Jan. 16, 2013