Any driver found to have violated a traffic law associated with an accident may be issued a citation if the accident meets the criteria for investigating an accident and if the elements of the violation can be established and supported by witnesses, e.g., accident victims or independent witnesses. Exceptions to this general guideline are listed below.
If accident criteria is met, the citation may be issued for the actual statute violated. Example: Red Signal – Accident Involved. Stop sign violations are an exception, where the citation shall be issued for Violation of Right-of-Way (R.O.W.) – Stop Sign – Accident Involved.
Officers may not make an arrest for a misdemeanor traffic offense occurring out of their presence with the exception of DWI, those found to have left the scene of accidents involving $200 or more damage to one or more vehicles or property, and those cases that by law allow the use of third party witnesses.
If it is determined at any point during the examination of the scene or investigation of an accident that a criminal of- fense has occurred before or after the accident, the officer shall initiate the proper report and take appropriate en- forcement action in addition to completing the accident investigation. Sufficient assistance may be requested to accomplish the additional duties.
Accident citations shall not be issued for private property accidents, one-car accidents without an independent wit- ness, any accident where there is serious bodily injury or death, or if charges will be filed with the D.A. stemming from the same incident.