Failure to Report a DUI Accident in Orlando, Florida

Accidents are never expected which is why people fail to act wisely when they happen. Car accidents happen all the time, including drunk driving accidents, and when they do happen most people are not able to take the proper actions as required of them by law. If you are a resident of Orlando, Florida, you should be familiar with what Florida law requires you to do if you are involved in an auto accident.

When to report an Accident in Florida?

Florida, located in Orange County, is a “no-fault” state, which means that an accident report is not required for accidents that do not involve an injury. However, this does not mean that you can simply walk away without taking necessary information from the other driver or drivers involved in the accident such as their names, drivers license details and their vehicle make and model etc. This information will be required for insurance purposes if your vehicle was scratched or damaged in the accident.

Failure to report a DUI Accident

You may be involved in an auto accident after you leave a party where you have had a drink or two. Although drinking and driving is not the wisest thing to do, you may still have had just a little to drink knowing that it will not increase your BAC levels over the allowed legal limit. Despite your BAC levels being under control, you may end up in an auto accident due to the mistake of another driver, pedestrian or passerby, but since you have had something to drink before you started driving, you might be worried that you may end up getting caught for DUI.

In such a situation, you may be terrified and think of simply leaving the scene of the accident or not report it to the authorities. If you were at fault and caused the accident, but decided to leave the scene of the accident, chances are the other driver will report you as a hit and run. In such a case, the cops will find you and charge you for failure to stopping at the scene of the accident and reporting it to the authorities. Even if you were not at fault, but tried to run away, it will make you seem guilty.

Consequences of Failing to Report an Orlando DUI Accident

Consequences of failing to report an accident in Orlando, Florida can vary, depending on the severity of the accident.

  • In case of a serious accident, your drivers license will be revoked and you can face heavy fines
  • A driver who leaves the scene of a crash involving death or personal injury will be subject to criminal penalties
  • In case you are facing DUI charges, you will have to pay fines, serve imprisonment and attend DUI school

What to do if you were involved in an auto accident?

Here are some steps you should do if you are involved in an auto accident:

  • First of all, you must stop your vehicle and park it at the side of the road. If you cannot do it on your own, get help from any passengers riding with you or any pedestrian or another driver.
  • Check to see if someone is hurt in the accident and get medical help for them immediately. You can call 911 in case of an emergency.
  • If there is no law enforcement officer present on scene, give your name, address and registration number to any other driver involved in the accident who requests the information. Get information of other drivers and witnesses involved in the accident too.
  • If no law enforcement officer shows up, you will have to file a crash report. According to Florida laws, accidents involving an injury or death of another person, cases of hit-and-run or intoxicated drivers, and property damage of over $500 need to be reported to the law enforcement agency immediately, which is the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles.
  • You will also have to inform your insurance provider about the accident.

Remember, you need to file a crash report within 10 days of the accident. If you are hurt and cannot file a report to the agencies, then it is the responsibility of any passenger in your vehicle to call the police and inform them about the accident.

In the case if you are not the owner of the vehicle but were driving it, then the owner of the vehicle may file the report.

No matter the severity of an accident, you should never flee the scene without making sure things are alright. The state of Florida is serious about your behavior following an accident, so you should make sure you follow the correct procedures to avoid license revocation, criminal charges and other penalties.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.

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