Leaving the Scene of an Accident in AZ
In Arizona, there are 9 different offenses that are categorized as “Accident Related Violations” that are generally referred to as Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Each law has specific requirements and describes different situations:
- Leaving Accident Scene – Damage to Vehicle (ARS 28-662A1)
- Fail to Remain at Accident / Damage to Vehicle (ARS 28-662A2)
- Fail to Stop at Scene without Obstructing Traffic (ARS 28-662A3)
- Fail to Give Information at Accident (Name, Address, Registration) (ARS 28-663A1)
- Fail to Give Information at Accident (Exhibiting Driver’s License) (ARS 28-663A2)
- Fail to Stop on Striking Unattended Vehicle (ARS 28-664A1)
- Fail to Notify in Accident with Unattended Vehicle (ARS 28-664A2)
- Fail to Notify When Striking Fixture on Highway (ARS 28-665A1)
- Fail to Show Driver’s License; Striking Fixture on Highway (ARS 28-665A2)
Each of these has different requirements and elements required to be proven by the government.
There are also different penalties, and we will detail each offense here.
Failing to Remain at Scene of Accident with Damage, A.R.S. 28-662
This section of the law applies to accidents that involve damage to another person that is being driven by another person (not parked or unattended).
It says that upon an accident occurs, both parties must:
- Immediately stop at the scene of the accident (or immediately return to the scene)
- Remain at the scene until the information is exchanged
- Stop in a way that does not interfere or obstruct traffic more than is necessary
If a driver does not do those 3 things, he can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident under one of those statutes and can be charged with a Class 2 Misdemeanor.
The motor vehicle department will also assess 6 points to the driver’s license for any one of these violations.
A major concern under this statute is that upon receiving a conviction for this offense, the Court may order the motor vehicle department to suspend the driver’s license for a period up to 1 year.
Duty to Give Information / Failure to Exchange, A.R.S. 28-663
This section of the law pertains to the duty to give or exchange information and to provide aid if needed.
When an accident occurs, both parties need to:
- Stop, exchange contact information and the registration number of each driver
- Provide a copy of their driver’s license, if requested
If a person fails to stop, or stops and fails to exchange this information, they can be charged with a class 3 misdemeanor.
This statute also requires drivers to give air or assistance in a reasonable manner if another person is injured in the accident.
This includes arranging medical treatment or calling 911 to assist that person.
Failure to provide reasonable assistance to a person who is injured in an accident is serious, and can be charged as a class 6 felony.
It is also important to note that if the court believes that alcohol or drugs were a contributing factor, the court must order that person to attend a drug or alcohol screening.
Leaving the Scene Striking an Unattended Vehicle, A.R.S. 28-664
This is the “leave a note” statute, that says that when a driver hits a vehicle that is empty or unattended, that the driver must stop and:
- actively locate the operator or owner of the vehicle and provide them with the name and address of the driver and owner of your vehicle.
- leave the name and address in writing in a clearly visible place on the vehicle.
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