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friend hit by drunk driver - consequences?

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  • friend hit by drunk driver - consequences?

    A close friend of mine was recently hit by a drunk driver through no fault of his own. He was standing on a curb after last call around 2 in the morning, waiting for a cab, when a car came swerving around a corner, hopped the sidewalk and plowed right into him, knocking him off his feet and leaving some pretty nasty looking bruises, but luckily no broken bones. The car immediately left the scene, and after calling the local police on his cell phone he was able to provide an officer with a description of the car.

    He called the state police a few days later and was put in touch with a prosecutor assigned to the case who said they had served the driver a must appear court summons, and that most likely he would face a hefty license suspension.

    This seems like a rather light penalty to me, and I am concerned that this driver will be able to continue driving, and as long as he doesn't get pulled over, will basically suffer no consequences. My question is, are officers notified of suspended drivers, and on the lookout? Or do most suspended drivers get away with it, unless they get pulled over for some other reason? It bothers me to think he will drive anyway and get away with it. Maybe the laws differ by state, but this seems like a pretty easy penality for the crime that was committed.

  • #2
    Anyone I come cross with a suspended license, especially with a history of DUI's, gets arrested.

    I'm sorry about your friend, but the charges are probably light because of a lack of evidence. If they didn't catch him driving or know who was driving, the most they were probably able to hit him with is leaving the scene of an accident and not the DUI charge. All depends on what's available to the police.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SgtScott31
      I'm sorry about your friend, but the charges are probably light because of a lack of evidence.
      That's exactly what the prosecutor told us.

      I have one follow up question, do you think it would be worthwhile to call the local police where this guy lives and notify them with his car description/plate number, so they can be on lookout in case he tries to drive? Or would I just be wasting my time? Are police even allowed to pull some one over on suspicion of a suspended license, or must they have some other reason? Thanks, I appreciate your expertise.

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      • #4
        ...most likely he would face a hefty license suspension.

        This seems like a rather light penalty to me...
        It is. Most drunks get away with very light penalties

        ...and I am concerned that this driver will be able to continue driving, and as long as he doesn't get pulled over, will basically suffer no consequences...
        He will probably keep driving, like many people with license suspensions. The penalty for that is a joke, too.

        My question is, are officers notified of suspended drivers, and on the lookout? Or do most suspended drivers get away with it, unless they get pulled over for some other reason?
        They don't notify us. If they did, we'd have a giant stack of "suspended notifications" in our office each week and we wouldn't be able to remember any of them if we saw them. Yes, most suspended drives get away with it.

        I don't know about the case you describe above, but it's possible that it's not a drunk driving case becuase they couldn't show that the guy was drunk at the time of the crash. It might just be an issue of leaving the scene of a crash.

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        • #5
          There's hundreds of suspended/revoked drivers out there, and you'd be wasting your time to call the local police. If I see someone driving that I know is suspended, I'll pull them over for that alone or go sign a warrant on them if I can't get to them right now. Otherwise, it's just a matter of finding out on a routine traffic stop.

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          • #6
            I feel for your friend. It's a joke around here when It comes to DUI/Revoked or Suspended licensed. The penalties are usually a slap on the wrist or Probation before judgement. The only thing that will change this light attitude toward these offenses will be the general public and the powers that be convincing the govt that they want hard core penalties for them, esp DUI's. In the meantime i'll still be locking up Drink Drivers on a regular basis.

            Sorry about your buddy, but My guess is that it's a waste of time to notify your local pd of his license suspension.
            John 3:16

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            • #7
              Friend hit by drunk driver.

              If injuries were sustained by your friend in the accident, there could be a charge of Felony Leaving the scene. A lot will depend on your state law, as well as the Prosecutor's judgement concerning the chances of convicting the driver on the felony. There would be absolutely no point in requesting your local PD to be on the lookout for a driver with a suspended DL.

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