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Merrill woman faces DUI homicide charges

A felony DUI charge in Wisconsin can have serious consequences. A conviction on such a charge can lead to the loss of driving privileges, fines or even a lengthy jail sentence if a death resulted from an accident that took place while the driver was intoxicated.

If there are multiple deaths, charges can pile up, and the defendant may find that he or she faces several felony DUI charges. This is the case for one Merrill woman currently charged with homicide by drunken driving for the deaths of two of her passengers in a crash that occurred on June 7.

The accident happened in the town of Merrill, where a car driven by the 25-year-old woman reportedly left the road. Once off the road, the car rolled repeatedly, causing three of the four women in the vehicle to be thrown from the car. Two women were killed in the accident, with the others, including the driver, seriously injured.

All four women had allegedly spent the day playing softball and drinking at a tavern in the area. A toxicology report indicated that the defendant had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent three hours after the accident. Each separate homicide charge carries a possible penalty of 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

The driver in this case faces stiff penalties if convicted, but she still has the right to put forward a vigorous defense. Drunk driving cases are more complex than prosecutors would have us believe, and anyone facing such serious penalties will need a strong defense in court.

Source: Sheboygan Press, "Suspect in fatal crash in Merrill to stand trial," Shereen Skola, Dec. 20, 2012

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