Say that you are out having a drink with friends. You are being responsible and you feel sober enough to drive home safely. You sit behind the driver’s seat and turn on the radio as you begin to back your car out of its parking space. You are driving along, only five miles over the speed limit, when suddenly your car and another vehicle collide. In the aftermath of the surprisingly devastating accident, you learn two things: Your blood alcohol level was just over the legal limit and the driver of the other vehicle has not survived the crash.
This absolute nightmare could reasonably happen to just about anyone. Alcohol metabolizes differently depending on a number of circumstances, so many drivers unintentionally drive while legally drunk because they feel fully sober. Whether or not an unintentionally drunk driver has contributed to a fatal auto accident, his or her blood alcohol content will almost certainly make the aftermath even more devastating than it already would be.
For obvious reasons, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn that you have been involved in an unintentional DUI accident. If the accident resulted in a fatality, this is especially true. Every word you say and move you make could potentially be used against you and an attorney can help to advise you accordingly.
It is worth noting however that not all fatal DUI crashes result in severe criminal consequences. Each case is unique. Therefore, if you should ever find yourself in this situation, it will remain important for you to avoid panicking. Panic leads to poor decisions. Instead, speak with your attorney about any concerns you may have from avoiding possible imprisonment to reinstating your driver’s license.
It is also important to recognize that even when individuals do not incur serious criminal consequences for fatal DUI crashes, they may face civil consequences. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the other driver’s family may opt to file a case for civil damages. When speaking to an attorney about your case-related concerns, take care to discuss possible civil consequences as well.