Orlando readers know that driving while intoxicated or when taking drugs is a bad idea, but it happens nevertheless. Once the mistake has been made, and it results in a catastrophic accident, one may find themselves in serious trouble. When facing these types of situations, it’s important to know what you need to do to fight your charges and minimize the consequences as much as possible.
One Florida woman recently found herself in such a situation. In Ormond Beach, on Feb. 2, she struck and killed a 22-year-old man with her car. The man was riding a skateboard at the time. The woman’s car allegedly went off the road into the bicycle lane, where she hit the skateboarder. According to the report, the man hit the windshield of the car, then the side mirror and ended up in front of a building in the bushes.
The woman continued on for a short distance before pulling over. She is alleged to have been intoxicated on alcohol and prescription pills, as well as illegal drugs. Although the Florida illegal blood-alcohol level is anything above 0.8, the woman’s level was .092. However, her toxicology report also showed that she had methamphetamine, diazepam, nordiazepam and benzoylecgonine, as well as cocaine in her system.
The 31-year-old woman turned herself in at the Volusia County Branch Jail a few days after the accident to face charges of DUI manslaughter. In addition to the DUI manslaughter, she is also facing seven narcotics charges. She allegedly told the police that she had blacked out shortly before hitting the young man. A search of her car unveiled pills, marijuana, cocaine and paraphernalia.
This woman will need to understand what it takes to fight these charges, which means understanding the legal process and the legal jargon that law officials use, who may be witnesses in the case. A case is never hopeless, as DUI manslaughter cases, according to Florida law, must prove that the impairment was the cause of — or contributed directly to — the death. An attorney who is experienced in these types of cases will know how to build a defense that follows the letter of the law.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Driver in fatal skateboarder crash charged with DUI manslaughter” Kevin P. Connolly, May. 01, 2014