Q: My car was damaged while parked in a parking lot. The person who did the damage left and did not leave any information and of course, nobody saw anything. What could happen to the person who did the hit-and-run on my car? I was told by a friend that since it happened on private property nothing would happen. –Mike
A: Well, after we let you do whatever you wanted to do to that driver then we would do our part. The prior answer of course was only a joke but we have all had that feeling at least once a lifetime. The truth is that if the driver was found then a simple private property crash would become a year-long bit of misery for that driver with his or her driver’s license.
Idaho Code 49-1301 explains to us what we should do in the event of a private property crash. It reads: The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident, either on public or private property open to the public, resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident, or as close as possible, and shall immediately return to, and in every event shall remain at, the scene of the accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of law. Requirements of course being that information be exchanged if on private property.
If a driver failed to report the crash then they would be in violation of Idaho Code 49-1301(4) which reads: The department shall revoke for a period of one year the driver’s license, privileges or permit to drive, or the nonresident operating privilege, of any person convicted of a violation of the provisions of this section. This is also a misdemeanor crime.
I can say that it is much cheaper and wiser to stay at the site of a crash than it is to run. A few bucks to fix a car is much cheaper than a year of finding rides to wherever if a driver’s license suspension is added to the total cost of running away from a crash.
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Corporal Michael Middlebrook, Lafayette Police, Louisiana
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