In California, a DUI combined with a hit and run is actually two charges. First is the DUI charge, and the penalties for that can vary widely depending on the circumstances and whether or not a person has previous DUIs. The second charge, hit and run, also depends on the circumstances. If the hit and run only involves property damage, it will likely be charged as a misdemeanor. If the hit and run involves injuries to another person, it can be charged as a felony. California law requires that any motorist involved in an accident stop and render aid, if needed, and exchange information.
The LA Times reports on an off-duty police officer involved in a suspected DUI hit-and-run.
43-year-old Claudia Lopez, a resident of Pico Rivera, was arrested on January 20th. The arrest came after Lopez hit a bicyclist while driving. She did not stop to assist the bicyclist. Instead, 20 minutes later, Lopez crashed on the 405 Freeway.
The first incident occurred as Lopez drove westbound on Fiji Way. As she was making a right turn, she hit the bicyclist. Instead of stopping, Lopez continued to the 405 Freeway. While changing lanes, Lopez crashed into the car in front of hers. This caused that car to crash into another vehicle.
The woman whose car Lopez crashed into suffered major injuries. The bicyclist suffered from minor injuries.
Lopez is a financial crimes detective with the Long Beach Police Department. She has been placed on administrative duties pending an investigation. No charges have been filed as of yet.