Ohio bill would boost hit-and-run driver penalties

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House plans to consider a bill to increase penalties for drivers who fail to stop after accidents resulting in serious injury to a person or death.

Under current law, motorists who leave the scene of an accident typically face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. If someone is seriously hurt, the penalty increases to a fifth-degree felony with a possible prison term of up to a year. If the accident results in death, drivers could face up to three years in prison.

The measure before the House on Wednesday would increase the penalty for death or serious injury to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to eight years in prison.

Legislative analysts describe the number of cases in which the penalty enhancements will come into play as "extremely small."