Charges of Drunk Driving Causing Death Carry Especially Serious Consequences
“When a death results from a car accident allegedly caused by a drunk driver, the driver is likely to be charged with a felony,” says Flint DUI defense attorney Shaun R. Marks.
A 17-year-old student at Wyoming Park High School has been charged accordingly. He allegedly crashed a car while under the influence, resulting in the death of two of his classmates. He was charged with four drunk driving counts; two of the counts were for drunk driving causing death. He may face up to 15 years in prison. His bail was set at $50,000.
The high school students killed in the accident included a 15-year-old girl, a freshman, and a 17-year-old boy, set to graduate soon. The girl was on the cheerleading squad, and the boy was a member of the varsity golf team.
Three other teenagers were in the car. All three, two 18-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy, were injured.
The parents of the 17-year-old boy who died in the accident told reporters that they do not blame the driver, saying that they are praying for him and understand that he is suffering as well.
“Drunk driving causing death is considered a much more serious drunk driving offense,” indicates Marks. “Prosecutors are more likely to seek the maximum possible penalty, and judges are more likely to impose it.”
Under Michigan law, a person convicted of drunk driving causing death faces up to 15-years in prison and a fine of between $2,500 and $10,000. If the person killed is a police officer, firefighter or any other type of emergency response worker, the person convicted may face up to 20-years in prison and a fine of between $2,500 and $10,000. A person convicted of drunk driving that causes serious impairment of bodily function to another person can face up to five years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $5,000. In conjunction with any of these convictions, a defendant’s vehicle may also be forfeited or immobilized.