Vehicular homicide is a crime in which the death of another human or of a viable fetus occurs that as a result of illegally driving a vehicle including the following: driving under the influence, gross negligence, reckless driving, or speeding. Vehicular homicide can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on certain circumstances.
DUI manslaughter is a second degree felony carrying a minimum prison sentence if the person is convicted of the charge. Anyone who has been in an accident where a death has occurred with alcohol involved could potentially face a DUI manslaughter charge. An example of this would be a young woman driving herself home from a party after drinking several cocktails. She swerves her vehicle from lane to lane and unfortunately, collides with and fatally injuries a man riding his bicycle. This woman would be convicted of DUI manslaughter if found guilty of the charge.
Motor Vehicles Involved in a Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide involves a motor vehicle being used as a tool or instrument which causes an individual’s death. The term “motor vehicle” is a broad term and encompasses numerous types of vehicles including:
- Passenger Vehicles
- Vans or minivans
- Sport utility vehicles
- Taxi cabs
- Trucks, such as pickup trucks or commercial trucks
Complex Issues Surrounding DUI Manslaughter
Did the accused contribute or cause the accident? Did some external factor, such as a mechanical problem, cause the accident? Does law enforcement have proof of the driver’s identity? Was the driver impaired by the consumption of alcohol or any other controlled or chemical substance? These are only some of the questions that need be asked in a case like this, and our team works diligently to have those questions answered in order to protect our clients.