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Can i flee the scene of an accident to avoid DWI

Can I Flee the Scene of an Accident to Avoid a DWI?

If you’re wondering whether you can flee the scene of an accident to avoid a DWI, keep reading this blog post. It’s normal for a person to panic upon being involved in an automobile accident – especially when drinking is involved. Additionally, that panic becomes even stronger when it was caused by one person with a DWI, or “Driving While Intoxicated.”

Having an accident under such circumstances will strengthen the urge for a person to flee the scene of the accident. But is it legal to flee the scene of the accident and avoid a potential DWI charge from the authorities?  The answer is quite straightforward and we will try to ease your worries in this post.

Can I Flee the Scene of an Accident to Avoid a DWI?

What to Do After an Accident

All parties involved in an accident have a duty to remain at the scene. They must wait until law enforcement arrives to collect details of the accident. They will talk to those involved in the accident to determine the cause. The police will also want to double-check their details with witnesses if some were around. Evidence could also be gathered on surveillance cameras potentially in the area. Only after law enforcement has finished their initial investigation can both parties leave.

It’s Important To Exchange Information With Parties Involved In An Accident

The parties themselves should also exchange their information with each other. After being told to do so by the police, both parties can get treated for injuries and file insurance claims. It’s possible one party may file charges against the other following the accident and investigation. One party could have reason to suspect that illegal activity or a DWI was the cause of the accident. If the police suspect this to be true, they have cause to eventually charge the person responsible.

These thoughts can lead to desperation from a person who was driving while intoxicated. They might want to leave before the other party or especially the police suspect them. 

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A Hit and Run

Leaving the accident scene before engaging in proper procedure is the definition of a hit and run. This is a serious crime regardless of whether illegal activity was involved. Both parties have a duty to remain at the scene before the police arrive to collect details. How severe future charges can be will depend on the accident’s severity. This violation could at least result in a misdemeanor. At most, this can result in a felony.

The temptation to leave the accident scene is high for anyone with a DWI. They could believe another party would see them intoxicated, let alone the authorities. They know they’ll fail a breathalyzer test after being subjected to it. Fleeing the scene seems like a good way to avoid this penalty. But the authorities have several ways to catch up to a person who does so.

What Happens If A Person Leaves The Scene Of An Accident?

Leaving the scene will avoid the immediate charge of a DWI if one party was indeed intoxicated. But doing so will have dangerous future consequences. Suspicions of guilt will be raised immediately after a person flees the scene. The police could determine this as an admission of that guilt. This will lead to the police vigorously investigating the party that didn’t remain at the scene. Details about the driver and their vehicle will be gathered by witnesses and the other party.

Fleeing the scene will also prevent the chance for a driver to clear their name. The party could have collected their own evidence from the accident. This could determine if they were truly at fault for the cause. Perhaps they could have provided a negative breathalyzer test. They could then hire a lawyer to defend them.

Hit & Run Can Result In Higher Charges Than A DWI

Participating in a hit and run could result in higher charges compared to the potential DWI charge. Being successfully convicted of a hit and run will result in several years behind bars. In some states and jurisdictions, it can result in up to 25 years.

Even if a person believes they’re not at fault, they should stick around the crime scene. The party’s testimony can be important to the police investigation. You’ll never know what the other party saw, or the details witnesses could provide. The best idea is to avoid a higher charge.  

The potential DWI charge is a better alternative to a hit-and-run charge. The days ahead will be difficult, but the penalties will be lower. Facing the accident honestly will serve the party charged with a DWI better in court than making them look guilty.

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Can I Flee the Scene of an Accident to Avoid a DWI?

A person involved in a vehicular accident shouldn’t flee afterward. It might seem like doing so could even prevent the authorities from finding evidence of intoxication. But this is a bad idea. Doing so could put the party on the hook for more severe charges. The police have plenty of methods to catch up with a hit and run driver. The other party could have seen everything. Witnesses and surveillance cameras could provide more details. The good idea is to remain at the scene, and take a DWI charge. This is why you cannot flee the scene of an accident to avoid a DWI. Stick around and follow procedure.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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