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Chapter 07 - Serious Traffic Offenses

Chapter 07 - Serious Traffic Offenses

22.0701 Careless driving-Penalty.


Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway, road or place accessible to the public in a careless and imprudent manner without due regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, or other attending circumstances is guilty of careless driving a class C misdemeanor and shall be sentenced accordingly. Whenever such careless driving of a vehicle proximately causes bodily injury to any person, the person so driving such vehicle is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, and upon conviction, sentenced accordingly.

22.0702 Reckless driving-Penalty.


Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving a class B misdemeanor and shall upon conviction be sentenced accordingly. Whenever such reckless driving of a vehicle approximately causes bodily injury to any person, the person so driving such vehicle is guilty of a class A misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be sentenced accordingly.

22.0703 Reckless driving-Operator responsibility.


The operation of a motor vehicle while persons are riding on the exterior thereof, or while persons are riding in the vehicle in a manner that their bodies extend beyond the interior portion of the vehicle, constitutes reckless driving and is punishable as under 22.0702. The floor of the box, bed, or frame of a pickup or other truck vehicle is considered the interior portion of the vehicle for purposes of this section.

22.0704 Reckless driving-Passenger responsibility-Penalty.


Persons riding on the exterior of a motor vehicle, or in vehicles in a manner that their bodies extend beyond the interior portion of the vehicle, are guilty of a misdemeanor and are punishable by a fine of not more than $50, or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both. The floor or the box, bed, or frame of a pickup or other truck vehicle is considered as the interior portion of the vehicle for the purposes of this section.

22.0705 Fleeing from or attempting to elude police officer-Penalty.


(a) Any driver of a motor vehicle who willfully fails or refuses to bring his vehicle to a stop, or who otherwise flees or attempts to elude a pursuing police vehicle, when given visual or audible signal by a police officer to bring the vehicle to a stop, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be punished accordingly.

(b) The signal given by the police officer may be by hand, voice, emergency light or siren. The officer giving such signal shall be in uniform, prominently displaying his badge of office.

22.0706 Homicide by vehicle-Penalty.


Whoever unlawfully and unintentionally causes the death of another person while engaged in a violation of any law applying to the operation or use of a vehicle or to the regulation of traffic shall be guilty of homicide when such violation is the proximate cause of the death. Any person convicted of homicide by vehicle shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

22.0707 Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs-Penalty-Plea bargaining.


(a) Any person who, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any narcotic drug, or any other drug, to a degree which renders him incapable of safely driving, drives any motor vehicle upon any highway within American Samoa, or drives any boat within the Territorial waters of American Samoa, is guilty of a class A misdemeanor, and upon conviction, sentenced accordingly.

(b) Whenever there is a motor vehicle accident resulting in either vehicle damage or personal injury, and a driver is charged with driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, that charge may not be plea bargained to a lesser charge if there is any evidence of intoxication.

22.0708 Causing death or bodily injury while driving under the influence-Penalty.


Any person operating or driving a motor vehicle, boat or ship of any kind while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, and who, by reason of such condition, does any act or neglects any duty imposed by law, which act or neglect of duty causes the death of or bodily injury to any person, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or a fine not more than $5,000, or both.

22.0709 Jurisdiction over serious offenses.


The district court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases arising under this chapter.