Drivers in California suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face very serious charges, especially if they cause an accident that causes serious injuries or fatalities. A recent criminal case is an example of the serious charges drivers can face if they are arrested for a drunk driving accident that severely injured or killed someone.
A female driver has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and hit and run after she got into a car accident with a bicyclist. She is also facing several misdemeanor charges for her involvement in the crash.
Police say the woman drove into a bicycle lane and hit a bicyclist. After hitting the rider, she left the scene of the accident. Police said they found the driver and her damaged vehicle after someone called in the accident and gave a description of her car. Police reported that a blood test showed she had methamphetamine in her system an hour after the accident when they arrested her.
These criminal charges could result in very serious penalties. If she is convicted, she could face up to 15 years and eight months in prison. In addition to the possible 15 years, she could be sentenced to a year and a half in the Orange County Jail.
This case shows the serious consequences drivers can face if they are charged with a DUI and other criminal charges after being involved in a serious or fatal car accident. Due to the harsh penalties drivers can face in cases like this one, they should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Source: Orange County Register, “Woman, 18, faces manslaughter charge in bicyclist’s death,” Claudia Koener, April 2, 2014