Gov. expected to sign bill on leaving scene of accident

A bill encouraging people involved in an injury accident not to leave the scene is expected to be signed by the governor.

SB245 was requested by prosecutors who said existing law prescribes a stiffer penalty for some one ruled under the influence when involved in an injury accident than for leaving the scene of an accident.

A person who leaves the scene can face a maximum of 15 years in prison. A person who stays at the scene of an injury wreck and ends up with a DUI causing substantial bodily harm can face up to 20 years.

SB245 makes the maximum penalty in both cases 20 years in prison.

“This makes a statement to the public that leaving the scene is not an acceptable act,” said Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill, R-Carson City.

Prosecutors said they have instances in the past where someone left the scene and sobered up before they were turned in as involved in the accident and, therefore, could not be charged with DUI.

O’Neill said SB245 closes a loophole.

“You have an obligation to stop and render aid,” he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval is expected to sign the measure into law.


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