A drunk driving arrest can have serious ramifications. However, if a driver faces charges of drunk driving with aggravating circumstances, the penalties for conviction can be much more severe. In Louisiana, certain circumstances surrounding a DUI arrest can contribute to the severity of the charges. One example of this occurred recently near Lake Charles.
Around midnight, police responded to an accident at an intersection. Two pickup trucks had collided after the southbound vehicle apparently turned left across the path of the northbound vehicle. The northbound vehicle struck the passenger side of the southbound pickup, fatally injuring the passenger. The driver of the southbound pickup also suffered serious injuries.
Investigators determined that both drivers were allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. While the southbound driver allegedly made the illegal turn, he was cited for a first-offense DUI. However, the death of his passenger led to a charge of vehicular negligent injuring.
The other driver has two prior DUI convictions, which may be why she refused to consent to a blood alcohol concentration test. However, police obtained a warrant to take a blood sample, which revealed a BAC over the legal limit. In Louisiana, a third DUI is a felony count.
Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues, but both drivers have much to be concerned about. Louisiana penalties for DUI are strict to begin with. Accidents, injuries and other factors can enhance the potential penalties. This is why those charged with drunk driving are wise to seek legal counsel in the earliest possible stages of the criminal process.