2020 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 7 - Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety
Part 3 - ACCIDENTS
Section 66-7-203 - Duty to give information and render aid.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-7-203 (2020)

The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving and shall upon request exhibit his driver's license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with and shall render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.

History: 1953 Comp., § 64-7-203, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 392.

ANNOTATIONS

Proof required for conviction. — In order to convict defendant of accidents involving death or personal injuries, the state was required to prove that defendant: (1) operated a motor vehicle; (2) was involved in an accident which caused great bodily harm or death of the victim; (3) failed to stop and/or failed to remain at the scene of the accident; and (4) failed to render reasonable aid to the victim. State v. Guzman, 2004-NMCA-097, 136 N.M. 253, 96 P.3d 1173, cert. denied, 2004-NMCERT-008, 136 N.M. 492, 100 P.3d 197.

"Involved in an accident" construed. — The plain meaning of "involved in an accident," within the context of the statute as a whole, applies to more than collisions. Our legislature intended the statutory phrase "involved in an accident" to be interpreted more broadly based on a recognition that the underlying policy objectives of the hit-and-run statute is to prohibit drivers from evading criminal or civil liability, to ensure people receive necessary aid or medical attention, and to deter drivers from thwarting or impeding investigations and avoiding liability for the harm they cause by failing to stop or failing to comply with this section. State v. Hertzog, 2020-NMCA-031.

The district court properly instructed the jury on "involved in an accident". — Where defendant was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily harm or death based on evidence that during a drive, an argument began between defendant and his girlfriend (victim) where the victim punched defendant in the face and jumped out of the moving vehicle that defendant was driving, and although defendant was aware that the victim had jumped out of the truck, he did not stop at or near the scene to investigate the victim's condition, report the incident, provide identification, or render assistance, and where, at trial, defendant claimed that the given jury instruction for leaving the scene of an accident was improper and that a proper instruction should equate "accident" with "collision", the district court did not err by refusing to give defendant's proposed instruction because the term "accident" should not be limited to collisions, thereby excluding other types of accidents that seriously injure or, as in this case, kill a person. State v. Hertzog, 2020-NMCA-031.

Sufficient evidence of leaving the scene of an accident. — Where defendant was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily harm or death based on evidence that during a drive, an argument began between defendant and his girlfriend (victim) where the victim punched defendant in the face and jumped out of the moving vehicle that defendant was driving, and although defendant was aware that the victim had jumped out of the truck, he did not stop at or near the scene to investigate the victim's condition, report the incident, provide identification, or render assistance, there was sufficient evidence to support defendant's conviction where the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was the driver of a motor vehicle involved in an accident which resulted in the death of the victim, that defendant knew that there was an accident, that defendant knowingly failed to stop his vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary, and that defendant knowingly failed to comply with the requirements of this section. State v. Hertzog, 2020-NMCA-031.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic §§ 289 to 295, 766.

Validity and construction of statute making it a criminal offense for the operator of a motor vehicle not to carry or display his operator's license or the vehicle registration certificate, 6 A.L.R.3d 506.

Sufficiency of showing of driver's involvement in motor vehicle accident to support prosecution for failure to stop, furnish identification, or render aid, 82 A.L.R.4th 232.

Necessity and sufficiency of showing, in criminal prosecution under "hit-and-run" statute, accused's knowledge of accident, injury, or damage, 26 A.L.R.5th 1.

61A C.J.S. Motor Vehicles §§ 652, 661, 674.

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