Drunk driving arrests that involve serious personal injury or death are punished more severely than DUI offenses in which there was no accident. While the conduct is the same – a person gets behind the wheel when intoxicated – the end result can have a serious effect on which criminal offenses are charged.
However, as our Birmingham,DUI defense attorneys can explain, not only is the maximum penalty for a DUI-related death substantially higher than a standard DUI charge, the public opinion of the alleged offense is often far more on the side of the government in these cases.
While is may seem like the general public is always on the side of the government, it is not the case with drunk driving, since most drivers have driven a vehicle when they were too intoxicated at some point during their lives. In non-injury cases, this leads to a certain degree of sympathy that can be useful to a defendant.
According to a recent news article from AL.com, a man from Munford, Alabama was arrested in connection with an alleged fatal DUI car accident on Interstate 20. Authorities say the 29-year-old defendant was driving an Infiniti G37 when he allegedly ran into the back of a motorcycle and then fled the scene of what turned out to be a fatal car crash.
After witnesses called 911, first responders arrived at the scene of the accident and found the driver of the motorcycle, also age 29, unresponsive. A coroner pronounced him dead on the scene.
The victim’s wife was riding on the back of the motorcycle at the time of the accident, and she was treated by first responders and then taken to a local hospital, where she was listed as being in stable condition.
Authorities immediately began searching for the suspect and were able to find him soon after the accident. First, they found a damaged abandoned vehicle in the emergency lane of the highway and believed it was suspect’s vehicle and that he had fled on foot. Later that day, authorities located the alleged driver of the vehicle outside a Sears at a local mall and placed him under arrest for hit-and-run, DUI related homicide and reckless driving.
This is still a very much ongoing investigation, and authorities are continuing to look into the cause of the accident. They they have stated “speed and driver impairment to appear to be factors in this accident.” It is important to note that defendant has not been convicted of any crime in connection with this incident and is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty in a court of law.
When charged with a DUI-related homicide, many people think the best thing to do is speak with an attorney who generally handles violent crimes and homicide cases. However, in reality, this is not a violent crime or homicide in the traditional sense. It is a drunk driving charge at its most basic nature. This means that an attorney who is experienced in representing DUI defendants may be far better prepared to handle your case than an attorney who is unfamiliar with DUI defense.