Drunk driving in Washington is a serious crime even if no aggravating factors, such as a prior conviction or an accident that causes injury or death, are present. When a drunk driver causes an accident that results in injury or death, the penalties can escalate. The driver in a recent three-car accident in Vancouver now faces one or more drunk driving charges.
A woman who lives in Vancouver was driving her pickup truck northbound on 137th Avenue. According to police, she allegedly failed to stop for a red light and struck a Chevrolet Cobalt sedan that was traveling east on State Highway 500. After the initial collision, a Lexus sedan driven by a Vancouver resident struck the Chevrolet. The woman who was driving the pickup and a passenger in the Lexus were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of injuries. No other injuries were reported.
According to the informational statement provided by the state police, the driver of the pickup faces at least one charge of drunk driving, but the specifics of the charges were not available. No one else was charged with a traffic violation in connection with the accident. Because two persons appear to have been seriously injured in this accident, the pickup driver could be charged with vehicular assault, which is a Class C felony. If convicted, the woman may face a substantial fine or prison time or both.
The outcome of this case is far from certain, but the woman who was allegedly drunk may be facing serious criminal charges. Alcohol consumption and driving do not mix. Anyone who is facing one or more DUI charges that involve personal injury may wish to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Such a consultation can provide a helpful evaluation of the facts and law that govern the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: The Columbian, "Woman injured in 3-car crash on Highway 500," Jake Thomas, July 4, 2017