A Chicago-area driver is facing charges of DUI causing death and reckless homicide after a terrible crash that decapitated the victim. Prosecutors say that the driver’s BAC was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
According to investigators, the woman was coming off an exit at 79 mph when she lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a median. Her vehicle flipped sideways and went airborne sheering the top off of the victim’s car. The impact decapitated the victim.
Police found the driver still in her car after the accident occurred. She was taken to the hospital and her BAC was found to be .183, which is more than twice the legal limit of .08.
Penalties for DUI Causing Death and Reckless Homicide
Reckless homicide is generally considered a class-3 felony. However, Illinois is quite strict about penalizing drivers for DUI. DUI accidents that result in the death of a passenger, pedestrian, or another driver are classified as class-2 felonies. Class-2 felonies have a minimum three-year prison sentence and a maximum of 14 years. This is a heavy price to pay, and having a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
Defenses to DUI Causing Death
In order to prove a DUI prosecution, the police must establish only that your BAC was over .08 at the time you were operating your vehicle. However, the rules for a conviction are a little bit more difficult when a homicide is involved. It is perfectly possible that you can have a BAC of .08 or more but not be responsible for an accident with another driver.
That, of course, is not the case here. The other driver was waiting in traffic when this driver misjudged the exit and her vehicle went airborne. There would be no way that the drunk driver could accuse the other driver of causing the accident. In other cases, accident may be a sound defense to DUI with property damage, DUI causing bodily injury, and DUI causing death. The prosecution must establish that your negligence directly resulted in the death. Merely establishing inebriation or death at the time of the accident is not enough.
In a case like this, an attorney will discuss the medical issues that could have played a substantial role in the accident. This is an effort to get the charges reduced from DUI causing death to reckless homicide (a class-3 felony). The sentencing range for a class-3 felony is two to five years.
For obvious reasons, you do not want to be involved in a DUI accident where another individual is killed because the penalties you are facing upon conviction can be severe.
Talk to a Chicago DUI Defense Attorney Today
If you need representation for a criminal charge in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is uniquely qualified to help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.