2006-02-01 / Features

Vallone Closes Auto Accident Loophole

Vallone called on the state legislature last week to close a loophole in a law that was enacted last year tightening the statute dealing with persons who leave the scene of an accident.

Vallone explained that the bill increasing the penalties for leaving the scene, contained the following loophole. “Currently, a prosecutor must prove that an individual who left the scene of an accident after causing a fatality or serious injury, must know or should have known that he caused a death or serious injury in order to charge him with the tougher penalties,” Vallone explained.

The loophole ties the hands of prosecutors, he complained.

“If a drunk driver kills someone and leaves the scene not only is it going to be harder to prove intoxication, but it also will be difficult to prove the driver actually had knowledge of a death before leaving the scene.”

Vallone said the law should state that if an individual leaves the scene of an accident involving a fatality or serious injury, “[the driver] automatically should face the stiffer penalties.”

—John Toscano

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