As an ex Career DA and now as a Colorado criminal defense lawyer, I have been aware for more than 38 years of a loophole in the criminal law of Colorado that actually created an incentive for drunk drivers to flee the scene of car accidents.
That loophole has now been closed.
With the passage of House Bill 1084 – signed by the Governor on June 6, 2012 – the new law increases the possible penalties for leaving the scene of a serious bodily injury crash from a class 5 felony to a class 4 making it equivalent to possible penalties for drunk driving.
End the Incentive to Flee
The old Colorado law gave drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders, an incentive to not stop at the scene of a crash and call for help of injured people. It benefited drunk drivers with a lesser range of penalties for fleeing the scene and trying to hide out until they are sober. The consequence of this loophole at times might mean the life or death of someone needing immediate medical attention at the scene of a crash.
H. Michael’s Take:
Defending The Hit and Run Case In Colorado