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Drunk driver may face vehicular homicide charges

Drunk driving is a serious crime in the state of Washington, even if no one is injured. If a person who is driving while intoxicated causes an accident in which one or more individuals suffer serious bodily injury or death, the potential penalties can be severe. The driver in a recent accident south of Spokane may face vehicular homicide charges after he allegedly caused an accident that killed one person and injured another.

The alleged drunk driver was heading north on Highway 2 when he crossed the centerline. His pickup truck collided with a southbound Kia sedan that was driven by a woman. She was pronounced dead at the scene, and her male passenger was seriously injured. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, but his medical condition has not been disclosed.

Police have initially concluded that the driver of the pickup truck was drunk, and that he caused the accident when he crossed the centerline. An ordinary DUI charge is regarded as a gross misdemeanor and has a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a fine of not more than $5,000. A DUI that results in death or injuries is a Class C felony that carries penalties of confinement in a state correctional institution for not more than five years and a fine not more than $10,000.

The driver in this case will face serious criminal charges. Anyone in a similar situation may wish to confer with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide an evaluation of the evidence, suggest potential defense strategies and, when appropriate, assist in the negotiation of a favorable plea agreement.

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