Florida laws make drunk driving a serious crime. If alcohol is involved in an accident, and if injury or death occurs, the penalties are extremely harsh. A Bradenton woman now faces several criminal charges, including homicide, stemming from an accident that killed one of her passengers, a 29-year old man from Sarasota.
According to police, the suspect failed to negotiate a dangerous curve on a Sarasota street. The car missed the turn and hit a tree. The car carried three passengers, including two women and one man. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver and the two female passengers were hospitalized for their injuries. Police noted that the curve is marked by a yellow right-hand turn sign with flashing yellow lights and a sign instructing drivers to slow to 25 mph. Post-accident investigation revealed that the car was traveling at 82 mph five seconds prior to the crash and that the brakes were not applied until 0.9 seconds before the impact.
The driver began to run from the scene, shouting that she was a passenger and not the driver. The woman was arrested and taken into custody. A subsequent toxicology test showed her blood alcohol content level to be 0.116%. The legal limit for intoxication in Florida is 0.08%. The woman was charged with a felony DUI, manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury, driving without a license in a fatal crash and three misdemeanor counts of causing property damage.
If convicted on these charges, the woman could face a significant fine and several years of incarceration. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an evaluation of the facts and law that will govern the case and for an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: News Chief, “Bradenton woman charged in fatal Sarasota crash,” Carlos R. Munoz, July 5, 2017