Driving under the influence is not only dangerous, it is illegal. If you are accused by Washington law-enforcement of operating or being in physical control of the vehicle while impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance, you can face charges for criminal DUI. Additionally, if an accident occurs or anyone is injured, you can be charged with additional crimes. One of these charges is vehicular homicide. If you have been accused of DUI and vehicular homicide in Seattle, contact a DUI defense attorney right away to make sure you understand the charges you are facing.
According to Washington law RCW 46.61.520, a person can be charged with vehicular homicide if an individual was killed as a result of an auto accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is a very serious crime and can often occur in addition to DUI. The penalty for a vehicular homicide conviction includes the following:
- Up to life in prison
- A fine of up to $50,000
- Installation of ignition interlocks
Vehicular homicide charges can be overwhelming so it is important to remember that you always have defense options. Recently, a Spokane man was found not guilty of vehicular homicide after being involved in an auto accident with a motorcycle leaving one person dead and another paralyzed. KXLY News reports that Jon Strine was accused of driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .20 in 2009. He was allegedly driving twice the legal speed limit when he side-swiped a motorcycle killing a woman and paralyzing her husband. The case against Strine seemed pretty overwhelming. He did, in fact, appear to have caused the accident and had been drinking.
Strine's defense team argued that the blood that was withdrawn from him which was used to determine his BAC was not properly refrigerated and, therefore, provided inaccurate results. Furthermore, his defense argued that he would've had to consume roughly 13 drinks within a few hours before the accident in order to have a blood alcohol concentration as high as the test stated. Receipts from the bar where Strine had been drinking showed that he had only bought about six drinks. In addition to this evidence, the defense also provided video footage of Strine leaving the bar in which he did not appear to be stumbling or showing signs of intoxication as well as video of him driving through an intersection maintaining his speed and lane.
Strine was found not guilty and the accident was ruled an unfortunate event. This case shows the importance of hiring an experienced and knowledgeable vehicular homicide lawyer as well as the difference that a strong defense can have on your DUI case. If you have been arrested for DUI in Washington, contact at an attorney right away.
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