Drivers fail to remain at the scenes of accidents for a variety of reasons even though leaving the scene is against the law. Utah lawmakers made this a crime so that individuals would feel obliged to take responsibility for their actions. Often, drunk drivers leave the scenes of accidents, and proving a DUI in a hit-and-run accident is nearly impossible for prosecutors.
If law enforcement officials locate an individual suspected of being involved in a hit-and-run accident within hours of the crash, the fact that he or she is intoxicated does not mean that was the case at the time of the accident. The suspected driver could have started drinking at home. Witnesses at the crash site may tell officers that they think the person might have been impaired, but there may be no way to prove that in court.
Under these circumstances, creating reasonable doubt regarding the evidence that prosecutors normally present to the court as proof of intoxication, such as field sobriety tests and toxicology tests, is often not difficult. Therefore, prosecutors may fall back on Utah’s law against leaving the scene of an accident, which may be easier for them to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Even so, that does not mean that a conviction is a foregone conclusion.
If you find yourself involved in a DUI hit and run, enlisting the assistance of an attorney as quickly as possible is imperative. Even if you are not charged with DUI, a charge related to the failure to remain at the scene could still adversely affect your personal and professional life. An attorney will review your situation and help you determine your options.