Police: Two Hit-And-Run Crashes Within Several Minutes
A Florida woman is facing a veritable litany of charges after causing two accidents within several minutes of one another. She is also facing charges for DUI and driving on a revoked license. She will further face charges for leaving the scene of an accident. Neither accident was fatal, however, and the victims appeared to be uninjured.
Deputies responded to the first crash at about 4 pm. A driver reported that she was struck by a Lexus SUV that attempted first to pass her on the right, then on the left, before rear-ending her and driving off. Shortly thereafter, another driver reported that they were rear-ended by a Lexus SUV.
The driver was later identified as a 62-year-old woman who was driving on a permanently revoked license after four prior DUIs including one causing injury and property damage. The driver is being held in jail.
Leaving the scene of an accident
If you are in an accident with another driver, the law triggers a series of duties that you have to that driver. This includes stopping your vehicle to render assistance, exchange information, and whatever else. You have a higher duty of care to those who are injured. You would be required to call emergency personnel to render aid. In this case, it appears no one was seriously injured enough to require medical intervention and thus this driver is facing a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony.
It is a first-degree misdemeanor to leave the scene of a car accident involving only property damage. When it comes to injury or death, then you start getting into the felonies. In any instance of a driver leaving the scene of an accident, they face a mandatory driver’s license revocation. Obviously, this wouldn’t apply to a woman whose driver’s license had been permanently revoked, but it bears mentioning here.
So, they have her on two misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene of an accident. Each of those has a statutory maximum of 1 year in jail. However, she’s on her fifth DUI which makes it a third-degree felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. That means she faces a maximum of five years in prison on that charge alone. She is also facing charges related to driving on a revoked license.
The court is going to figure that once they slap the defendant on the wrist again, she will be out there driving drunk. They’re going to figure that she is out of control, does not care about the harm she causes or could cause, and she’s a threat to the general public. In other words, they’re going to want to put her behind bars for a bit to think about the severity of her mistakes. Once you’re on your fifth DUI, it’s hard to argue that it was an isolated incident. At that point, it’s a pattern.
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