Bill to Increase Sentences for Hit and Run Accidents in Texas

Written by Greg on April 4, 2013

A new Texas hit and run bill is directed at increasing the penalties for drivers who leave the scene of an accident. Senate Bill 275 has passed the Texas Senate and headed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Under the proposed law, leaving the scene of an accident would become a second-degree felony with punishment from 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The intention of the new proposed law would be to reduce the incentive for a drunk driver to leave the scene of an accident to avoid a drunk driving charge. Many drivers who are intoxicated fear arrest and conviction for an alcohol-related offense and leave the scene in order to sober up.

Under the new law should it pass, the penalties for failure to stop and render aid would increase significantly. Not all cases are alcohol related and some are simply inexperienced drivers who don’t know better or others who may worry about outstanding warrants or other arrests.

Houston-area cases of failure to stop and render aid average over 100 cases per year in the last several years. There is no data on how many day you to stop and render aid cases involved serious injury or death.

Not long ago, a very good article was written by Yang Wang of the Houston Chronicle about hit-and-run drivers in the Houston area. You can read the article by clicking here.

In that article, the author concluded that more than half of the people who are involved in an accident and leave the scene get away with the crime.

Perhaps increasing the penalties in Texas for hit-and-run drivers is an idea that is needed for our communities.

Baumgartner Law Firm   6711 Fm 1960 Rd W    Houston, TX  77069

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Posted Under: Auto Accidents, Laws and Rights

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