If someone dies as a result of a car accident the resulting investigation is generally very thorough. The potential for a vehicular manslaughter charge will depend on many factors. Among them is alcohol.
If the police have any suspicion that someone has been drinking and driving, they are more likely to charge the driver who they suspect of drinking with a DUI charge. This is because the consequences will be more severe if prosecutors can prove that a fatal accident was caused by a drunk driver.
In such a case, it is especially important to make sure that a driver’s rights are protected. Overzealous prosecutors may want to appease the public outcry over a death with charges of vehicular homicide, even when they may not be appropriate.
Take the recent example of a fatal car accident that occurred in front of the University of West Georgia’s football stadium. It was just one hour before the homecoming day kickoff when the crash occurred.
The 23-year-old driver of a Nissan Maxima was making a left hand turn off of Lovvorn Road. At that moment, a motorcycle ridden by a 20-year-old West Georgia student crashed into her car. Tragically, he died from the impact of the crash into her passenger side door.
While it is possible that the young motorcyclist simply lost control of his bike, she is accused now of having caused the accident. Whether she failed a Breathalyzer test was unreported, but presumably she did submit to a blood draw, the results of which will not be available for some time.
She has been charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield when turning left. She has been released on a $10,000 bond.
In such a case, the drunken driving charges may be anticipatory, and not based on any real evidence that would stand up in court.
As a result, it is extremely important for this young Georgia woman to have an experienced DUI attorney who can question the strength and the accurateness of the prosecution evidence.
Source: The Marietta Daily Journal, “Harrison grad killed in traffic accident Sat.,” Lindsay Field, Oct. 4, 2011