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Getting Tougher on Failure to Stop After Accident

KUT News

Texas lawmakers are looking to take away the incentive for a driver leaving the scene of a crash when that driver is intoxicated.

Under current Texas Law, there’s an incentive to run away and sober up, because there’s a stiffer penalty for intoxication manslaughter than for failure to stop and render aid, even when the victim dies.

On Tuesday, the Texas Senate voted to increase the punishment for failure to stop to remove that incentive. State Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, wrote the bill.

“My hope is that people will stay, when they stay they will call 911 and they won’t leave somebody there who might die,” Sen. Watson said.

Under the bill that passed the Senate, punishment for leaving an injury crash would be up to 20 years in prison.

Former Texas Capitol staffer Gabrielle Nestande was found guilty last month in the Austin hit-and-run death of Courtney Griffin.

A judge ordered to her to jail for the first six months of her jury-imposed 10-year probation.

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