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New Arizona Law Increases Penalties for Impaired Hit-and-Run Drivers

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Hit and Run Accident Lawyer | A revision to a law named for an Arizona teenager who lost his life in a hit-and-run accident will increase penalties for impaired drivers who leave an accident scene.

“Joey’s Law,” which went into effect in 2012, is named for 18-year-old Joey Romero.  The high school student was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking home from work in Peoria in 2010 and died in the hospital a few days later.

Police say that Laura Flanders was dazed and on medication when she struck Joey on a sidewalk and kept going.  She was indicted on one count of manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.

She was sentenced to six years in prison, which Joey’s father, Jesse Romero, considers a “slap on the hand.”

Romero fought to increase the time a hit-and-run driver’s license could be revoked from five years to ten years.

HB2505, signed by Governor Brewer in April, amended the existing provision of the Arizona Revised Statutes concerning failure to stop after accidents involving death or physical injury.

Hit and Run Accident Lawyer: What You Must Do after an Injury Accident

The law already provided that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death of a person shall:

  • Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible; and
  • Remain at the accident scene in order to:
    • Provide his or her name, address, and vehicle registration number,
    • Show his or her driver’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupants of the vehicle collided with, and
    • Render reasonable assistance to a person injured, including making arrangements for an injured person to get to a doctor or hospital.

Failure to comply with these requirements is a felony.

Alcohol and Drugs as a Contributing Factor

Under the new version of the law, the court shall order the person involved in the auto accident to complete alcohol or drug screening.  This is especially true if a court finds that a person’s use of alcohol or drugs was a contributing factor to the accident. If the screening reveals that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident, the impaired driver may be ordered to complete alcohol or drug screening as a condition of license reinstatement.

A person who fails to comply with the screening requirements will be guilty of a class 6 felony.

To learn more about hit-and-run accidents and DUI accidents, please visit our website. Need to talk to a Hit and Run Accident Lawyer? Dial Thompson Law Firm at 480-634-7480.