The penalties for driving under the influence vary from state to state and may also depend on other factors, such as prior DWI convictions, having children in the vehicle, and whether bodily harm is caused. A drunk driving charge involving serious injury or the death of another person can turn a simple DWI into a charge of vehicular homicide. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, for example, a fatal drunk driving accident is a felony carrying a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
For example, a local resident was accused of a drunk driving following a crash last November 11. Reportedly, the vehicle driven by the accused collided head-on with another automobile operated by a 56-year-old man, who died at the scene of the accident. Three other passengers suffered injuries. The accused driver fled the scene on foot before being apprehended and found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.15, which is almost twice the state’s legal limit.
As a result, the Pinconning man is charged with failure to stop at the accident scene, operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. He was also charged with driving under the influence causing injury and death to the accident victims, a charge that may bring him 15 years of imprisonment. The alleged drunk driver was released on a personal recognizance bond of $150,000, and his trial date was moved to October.
Needless to say, a vehicular homicide charge can seriously impact the lives of accused persons. The repercussions may include large fines, other penalties and even jail time. Accused persons suffer the loss of reputation and may have their driving privileges limited or revoked.
However, a drunk driving charge can be challenged, but doing so can be difficult. An experienced legal professional knows how to carry out an investigation of the arrest and the evidence used in the case and offers the best chance of having a drunk driving charge reduced or even dismissed.
Source: MLive, “Trial of Pinconning Man Charged in Drunken-Driving Death of Beaverton Man Moved to October,” Cole Waterman, July 14, 2013