Getting behind the wheel is dangerous, not only because you can be held accountable for what you do, but you can also be charged unfairly for what others do. A recent accident and criminal case sheds light on the potential dangers of drunk driving charges, as one drunk man entered into the path of a pickup truck. Now the driver is facing DUI and homicide charges. Was the accident preventable? Was it the driver’s fault if the pedestrian was intoxicated? In the majority of these cases, the driver will be held responsible for being under the influence and could face additional charges and penalties arising from any injuries or wrongful death.
When alcohol is involved, it is often not just the driver who is careless. Drunk pedestrians, or other drunk motorists can pose additional threats. This can make a complicated criminal or personal injury case when more than one drunk person is involved in an accident. Our Birmingham drunk driving attorneys are committed to helping individuals who are charged with drunk driving protect their rights in the event of an accident. We understand the complexity of these cases and are dedicated to ensuring that defendants have experienced legal representation in court.
According to police reports, a pedestrian walked in front of a man who had been drinking and driving. The 44-year-old pedestrian walked into the path of a truck driven by the 57-year-old defendant. Witnesses stated that the pedestrian was walking on a strip of the Perdido Beach Boulevard and was attempting to get from the south to the north side of the road. While he made it through the turn lane, he walked into the second lane directly in front of an oncoming vehicle. The pedestrian did not appear to observe the truck coming before he was struck in the eastbound lane. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.
Immediately after the accident, the defendant was booked on charges of criminally negligent homicide and driving under the influence. Both of the charges carry severe penalties upon conviction and the driver is being held on $10,000 bail for the homicide charges and $1,000 for the DUI charges. The Baldwin County Detention Center released him on bond two days after the accident.
This is the second pedestrian death in Baldwin County since March 21. Another collision resulted in the death of a 19-year-old student from Oklahoma State University who was in Gulf Shores on Spring Break. According to reports, a 29-year-old driver was arrested and charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death and driving under the influence.
Both of these DUI cases involve tragic and preventable pedestrian accidents. While it was not reported that the Oklahoma State University student was drinking, it wouldn’t be the first time that a Spring Break vacationer, under the influence, wandered into traffic or at least, wasn’t aware of oncoming vehicles. In the most recent case, blood alcohol tests showed that the victim was under the influence. Nothing justifies breaking the law and getting behind the wheel, but defendants should not be overcharged or over-penalized when involved in an accident. If you or someone you love has been arrested for DUI or involved in an accident, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate who can review the facts of your case. Remember that any DUI involving personal injury or death will likely involve additional charges and even more severe penalties.