Prosecutors allege that a college student was speeding and drunk by twice the legal limit when he collided with an Uber driver, killing a passenger in Southwest Miami Dade. The accident captured the city’s attention after the victim’s family filed a negligence lawsuit against the defendant and Uber. Last month, the victim and friends called an Uber after a night out. The driver picked up the passengers in a black GMC Yukon. Just before 5 a.m., the driver was turning left at a flashing yellow light when the defendant’s car sped straight through the intersection. The defendant’s car hit the SUV. The SUV flipped, struck a concrete wall, and bursts into flames. The state alleges that the defendant was going 70 mph in a 35 mph zone and that his blood level was at .155, well above the legal limit of .08, two hours after the accident. Responsibility for the crash will be hashed out in court as prosecutors insist the driver had the right of way. The defendant faces DUI manslaughter charges and was released after paying a $30,000 bond.
The details of this accident have captured our attention. Most likely because you count on a safe trip when hiring a vehicle like the Uber service. DUI manslaughter charges are a serious crime under Florida law. This means that when a person driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substance causes an accident and someone dies, he or she may face a DUI Manslaughter charge. DUI Manslaughter is a felony offense, punishable with a mandatory minimum four-year prison sentence. While the four-year sentence is minimum and mandatory, the average sentence varies across Florida. Statewide, the average prison sentence is just below ten years and Miami-Dade has an average sentence of just over six years.
Other Crash Related Charges
While the trial in the example above is still pending, it is always possible that a driver who causes an accident that results in death might face other crash related charges. These charges are serious and carry heavy penalties:
- Vehicular Homicide: Vehicular homicide is a second-degree felony. The punishment includes up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000,00 fine. If a driver leaves the scene (think about your typical hit and run) then prosecutors may enhance the charge to a first-degree felony punishable by 30 years in prison.
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Death: This is a first degree felony which is punishable by 30 years in prison. It also has a mandatory minimum of 4 years in prison. Learn more about leaving the scene of an accident.
Let an Attorney Help
Not every fatality that occurs on the roadway should result in a DUI manslaughter charge. However, the right attorney will understand the nuances of charges that result from car accidents and can advocate for the best results possible. If you are facing DUI manslaughter charges, let Moses & Rooth help you. We can go over the facts of your case and ensure you have the best defense possible. Contact us today at 407-377-0150, to schedule an appointment.