Car accidents can happen at any time, especially when drivers may not have a significant amount of experience driving. Unfortunately, police officers may assume that accidents that happen at a certain time of day and involving teenage drivers are a result of a driver who is under the influence of alcohol. A young man in Wisconsin was arrested, with drunk driving charges likely pending, following a fatal accident.
The incident happened one night in late January. According to reports, an 18-year-old was driving a sedan containing three passengers. Police say that the driver failed to negotiate a sharp turn. As a result, the vehicle ran off the road, entering a ditch before striking a utility pole and flipping.
One passenger, a 19-year-old male, died at the scene of the crash. The three other occupants, including the driver, a 21-year-old male and 19-year-old female, were transported to a hospital for treatment. The driver has since been arrested and is being held, suspected of drunk driving. Reports indicate that formal charges are likely forthcoming.
While an unexpected death is always tragic, it is unclear what supports drunk driving charges. In order to convict the teenager, Wisconsin prosecutors must be able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard that is purposefully set high in order to prevent wrongful convictions. If prosecutors are unable to meet this standard, the young man must be found not guilty. To ensure that there is someone who is protecting their interests and help them make informed decisions, drivers facing such charges often seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Source: Hudson, WI Patch, "19-Year-Old New Richmond Man Dead, 3 Other Teens Injured in Drunk Driving Crash", Scott Anderson, Jan. 29, 2017