In September of last year, a Montesano man crashed head-on into another vehicle on Highway 101. A blood screen taken after the accident concluded that Kelly Landry had a combination of methamphetamine and THC in his system when he slammed into the other vehicle injuring two people, an elderly couple from Forks, Washington. Just a few days ago, Landry was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, to “18-months in prison and three years of supervised release for vehicular assault.” This accident, being Landry's third over the course of two years, was prosecuted at the federal level because it occurred on National Park Service Land.
What is Vehicular Assault?
In Washington State, “a person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle:
- In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, and causes substantial bodily harm to another; or
- With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.”
In the case of Landry, he was driving under the influence of a combination of drugs, meth, and marijuana. So, what meets the threshold of “under the influence” in Washington? An individual is guilty of driving “under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:
- And the person has, within two hours after driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's breath or blood; or
- The person has, within two hours after driving, a THC concentration of 5.00 or higher as shown by analysis of the person's blood; or
- While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or
- While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug.
Penalties For Vehicular Assault
The penalty for vehicular assault is very serious. In Washington state, vehicular assault is a Class B felony that can land a person in jail for up to ten years plus $20,000 in fines. Moreover, if alcohol or marijuana are involved an offender may face the possibility of a DUI charge which can heighten a sentence and carry its own penalties. For example, a vehicular assault combined with a DUI can result in the suspension or revocation of the offender's license to drive.
A felony conviction on your record can have negative tangential effects on your personal life, such as the inability to find employment, loss of financial aid for college, or difficulty getting approved for a loan. If you have been arrested for vehicular assault in the Seattle area, it is vital that you seek legal counsel immediately. Defense lawyer Steve Karimi is an experienced vehicular assault attorney. Mr. Karimi, named a “rising star” in criminal defense by Washington Law and Politics magazine, is a former prosecutor for King County who uses his knowledge and insight into prosecution strategies to protect your rights in criminal court. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.