Vehicular homicide is a serious criminal offense and it carries heavy consequences in Seattle and elsewhere. While a person convicted of vehicular homicide likely faces relatively short-term penalties, a person convicted of this offense likely also faces lifelong challenges. The reputation of the convicted may be tarnished, making it difficult to find a job or a place to live. Recently, the family of a Washington state man killed by a person driving under the influence of alcohol decided to seek damages from a bar that served a man convicted of causing death while driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to a lawsuit filed by the deceased's family, the bar failed to exercise reasonable care in serving a man that was visibly intoxicated. The family alleges that not only did the bar serve the man too much, they also gave the man alcohol in a to-go cup as he was leaving the bar. Ten minutes later, the defendant hit the Washington state man.
According to reports, the deceased was walking to dinner with his friends when the driver ran his car over the sidewalk. Police records show that the driver's blood alcohol level was 0.10, which was greater than the state's legal level of 0.08. The driver was charged with vehicular homicide and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In Washington, vehicular homicide is categorized as a class A felony, and may be defined as causing death of another person while driving under the influence. A person confronting a vehicular homicide charge could face jail time, significant fines and have their driver's license taken away.
Because of these potential penalties, a person accused of vehicular homicide should learn the possible defenses that may apply to their case so that they may have a meaningful defense. It is important to remember that every person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Source: The Seattle Times, "Bar that served driver before crash sued, Nov. 10, 2012