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Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, August 20, 2001

Question: I know I don't have to report it if I put my car in the ditch in a snowstorm, and I know that I have to report it if I am in an accident and someone is seriously hurt, but where do you draw the line? When am I required to report an accident?

Answer: A.S. 28.35.080 states that when you are involved in a crash that causes injury or death, or causes apparent property damage of $2,000 or more, you must report the accident as soon as possible. The penalty for not reporting an accident as required is a maximum of $200 fine and 90 days in jail, in addition to 2 points on your license.

Despite what many of the people who I have charged with this crime seem to believe, as soon as possible does not mean the next morning after they have had a chance to sober up. Call us skeptics, but when we hear of someone who didn't report a wreck, we're likely to assume it was because they were drunk or didn't have proper insurance.

The statute does not say how much a person has to be injured before you have to report the crash, so to be on the safe side, it's always better to call. Especially since with today's high cost of vehicle repair, it doesn't take much to cause $2,000 in total damage.

Also, keep in mind that damage is the cost necessary to return the vehicle to its pre-crash condition, so it is possible to do $2,000 damage to a $500 car.

If you have questions you would like to ask a trooper, send them to Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603 or e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps.state.ak.us. The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps.state.ak.us. The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.



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