A DUI charge can seriously impact a person's life. Defending a DUI costs money, puts strain on the individual's friends and family, impacts the person's focus on the job and stays on the individual's record if convicted. While driving under the influence of alcohol is never a good idea, DUI charges can be the least of a person's worries when that individual is involved in a fatal driving accident.
A Wisconsin woman was recently charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle for hitting and killing a bicyclist earlier in the summer. She was also charged with two other crimes, which are homicide by negligent use of a vehicle and knowingly operating a vehicle while suspended. If convicted of the most serious crime, she could face a 25 year jail sentence as well as $100,000 in fines.
According to documents filed by the prosecutor, the driver had consumed at least nine drinks over a three hour period prior to getting behind the wheel of her car. Just after 5:00 a.m. she began driving and crossed the center line of the road, striking a bicyclist riding in the opposite direction. The driver struck the bicyclist and went off the road. She stated that she thought she had hit a deer, but then called friends to pick her up and left the scene of the accident.
While the punishments associated with drunk driving charges vary greatly depending upon the severity of the allegations and whether anyone was injured in the incidents, a loss of life due to intoxicated driving will usually be aggressively pursued by state prosecutors. Though chance may sometimes be the only difference between a fatal drunk driving accident and an intoxicated driver getting home without issue, all drivers should be aware of the consequences associated with any drunk driving charges before they decide to drink and then get behind the wheel.
Source: Leader-Telegram, "Woman charged with killing bicyclist while driving drunk," July 12, 2013