DENVER (AP) – Colorado lawmakers advanced a measure to increase penalties for leaving the scene of a car accident involving serious injuries.

The state House gave initial approval to the bill Tuesday. It still faces a final vote.

Lawmakers say drivers are encouraged by current law to leave accident scenes when they’re drunk because if they do so there’s no way to prove they were driving under the influence at the time of a crash. Lawmakers argue that’s one reason for stiffer penalties.

The bill would increase the penalty to a class 4 felony. It’s currently a class 5 felony and drivers in such cases can also be charged with a traffic infraction.

The stricter penalty would increase fines and prison sentences.

LINK: House Bill 1084

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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