If you get into a crash while you're driving while intoxicated, fleeing the scene can be a natural reaction. Afterall, DWI is a very serious crime that can come with jail time and large fines. The truth is that fleeing the scene of a DWI crash can make things much worse for you. Here's why:
Hit and Run is a Separate Crime
The first thing to understand is that hit and run is a separate crime. Fleeing the scene of any accident can lead to criminal charges including a possible felony charge. The severity of the charge and sentences depends on how serious the accident was based on the amount of damage and whether anyone got hurt. This is on top of any other charges, like DWI, that you might have already been facing. If you get involved in any type of accident at any time, you need to stay at the scene.
You Can Still Get Charged With DWI Even if You Left
The reason many people try to leave the scene of a DWI accident is they think the police can't charge them with DWI if they can't test them for DWI. If they sober up and then report the accident, they think the consequences won't be as severe. Again, this isn't true.
First, you can still be charged with hit and run even if you go back and report the accident. The fact is that you still left when you weren't supposed to.
Second, DWI tests are only one way of proving DWI. The police can use a variety of evidence such as videos of the accident scene, witnesses who saw that you were acting intoxicated, such as getting proof of what bar you were just at and what you ordered, and anything else that will convince a jury that you were intoxicated at the time of the accident.
DWI Charges Can Get More Serious if You Leave
There isn't one single type of DWI; Some are felonies and some are misdemeanors. Some DWIs have larger fines and longer jail sentences. Which type of DWI you are charged with depends on a number of factors such as how much you had to drink, whether anyone got hurt, and your prior record. Leaving the scene of the accident is another way that can enhance the level of your DWI charge.
To learn more about what you should do after a DWI crash, talk to a local DWI attorney today.