Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has hushed up a series of scandals including her own brother-in-law’s shocking criminal past!

After the Alaska governor was named John McCain‘s running mate, she disclosed her husband Todd had been arrested for drunk driving in 1986 – but not that his brother James Palin was involved in a devastating hit-and-run that inflicted multiple injuries on a female pedestrian.

Court papers obtained by The ENQUIRER show that James Palin, Sarah’s brother-in-law, was busted as a 20-year-old on Feb. 15, 1989, in his Dillingham, Alaska, hometown – after a major drinking binge.

According to official records:  James, in a drunken stupor, slammed into  a woman with his vehicle, stopped, pulled her out from underneath it – and then callously sped away, leaving her injured on the side of the road like Alaskan road-kill!

Police Officer Lowell Crezee soon arrived at the crime scene and assisted victim Lydia John – who sustained numerous injuries, including a fractured pelvic bone.

James admitted to police that before the accident he had been drinking, first at the Canary Bar, where he "drank two beers and a shot of tequila and then went inside the Willow Tree bar and drank two beers," according to the criminal complaint.

Palin’s sentence for getting drunk, running down a woman and driving away: a mere $50 fine.

According to court documents obtained by The ENQUIRER¸ James was also involved in other legal battles.

In 1995, James Palin filed a domestic violence petition against live-in girlfriend Christine Garner, mother of his then 2 1/2-year-old daughter Miranda. The court awarded James temporary custody of his daughter.

A year later, James again petitioned the court claiming Garner had put imperiled his daughter "by drinking and driving with her in the car to drug dealers’ homes and doing drugs around her."  But that case was dismissed.

In addition to James’ legal woes, The ENQUIRER learned other members of Todd Palin’s family have been tromping through the Alaska court system:

Blanche Kallstrom, Todd’s mother, sued the U.S. government for negligence and took the suit all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court – which ultimately ruled against her.

The suit sprang from a series of claims and counterclaims originating from a tragic mistake in 1993 in which Blanche, Sarah’s mother-in-law, accidentally served a child a lye-based detergent, thinking it was fruit juice.

For the full story and ENQUIRER World Exclusive Bristol Palin drug video shocker pick up the new ENQUIRER – on sale now.