This day and age it may be common to read about celebrities getting charged with driving under the influence, but often celebrities seem so far removed from the reality that we might think, “That would never happen to me or anyone that I know.” After all, it may be entertaining to read about Blake Shelton falling down on stage because he's had too much to drink. Or we may shake our heads at the Arizona Cardinal's General Manager being arrested on suspicion of a DUI. However, driving under the influence does happen to regular people and it can have a substantial impact on the life of a regular individual and those around them. Especially if driving under the influence has caused an accident that resulted in the injury or fatality of another individual.
Last week, in Roy, Washington, three people were killed and three were severely injured in a crash caused by a suspected drunk driver. The minivan that the suspect was driving ran a stop sign and struck an SUV, killing and severely injuring the individuals inside. The driver of the minivan was arrested for suspected DUI and vehicular homicide. Everyone knows that getting a DUI can be a very costly personally, emotionally, and financially. However, when an accident is involved the cost and the charges can be much more serious. Especially if the accident was fatal.
Vehicular Homicide in Washington State
Washington state law calls this “vehicular homicide.” In Washington, the vehicular homicide law states that “when the death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person, the driver is guilty of vehicular homicide if the driver was operating a motor vehicle:
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug,
- In a reckless manner, or
- With disregard for the safety of others.”
Parts of this law read very vague, but the penalties are especially extreme. The penalty of a vehicular homicide is a Class A felony, but when paired with a DUI or prior offenses relating to intoxication, the penalties can be far more serious. That is why anyone facing charges for this crime should contact a defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that they have the best possible chance of successfully fighting their charges.
The Law Offices of Steve Karimi Are Here To Help
To learn more about vehicular homicide, penalties related to DUI fatalities, and how to best defend yourself against these charges, visit the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today. 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. He will meet with you for a free consultation to discuss some of the defense options that may be available in best representing you against a vehicular homicide charge.