Authorities reported a fatal auto accident that possibly involved alcohol in Newport, Washington. The driver of a Ford Expedition rolled about 300 feet down an embankment on Bead Lake Road killing the passenger. On the other hand, the driver only suffered minor injuries. The passenger was declared deceased at the scene of the auto accident. It is believed that alcohol may have played a role in this auto accident. According to the sheriff’s office, the driver was later arrested for vehicular homicide. Authorities did not clarify the relationship between the driver and the passenger. Washington State Patrol is still investigating this crash.
Vehicular homicides are a criminal offense involving the death of a person other than the driver as a result of criminal negligence or murderous operation of a motor vehicle. To be convicted of vehicular homicide, it must be proven that the driver was operating the vehicle in a reckless manner.
Washington State Vehicular Homicide Laws
RCW 46.61.520: Vehicular homicide—Penalty.
- When the death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person, the driver is guilty of vehicular homicide if the driver was operating a motor vehicle:
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 502; or
- In a reckless manner; or
- With disregard for the safety of others.
- Vehicular homicide is a class A felony punishable under chapter 20RCW, except that, for a conviction under subsection (1)(a) of this section, an additional two years shall be added to the sentence for each prior offense as defined in RCW 61.5055.
Read more Washington Rules of the Road here.
What Happens When an Accident Involves Alcohol?
In most states, a driver under in the influence of alcohol often face charges such as hefty fines, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time. DUI laws are aimed at keeping roadways safe for everyone and prevent drunk-driving auto accidents.
The outcome of a drunk-driving auto accident really depends on whether the crash resulted in property damage, injuries, or death. The consequences of a DUI typically depend on the prosecutor and the judge. When a DUI case involves a fatal auto accident, prosecutors are usually less favorable to a plea bargain, and judges less likely to be lenient.
Penalties for DUI in Washington
1st Offense: Jail time of 24 hours to a year; Fines ranging from $865.50 to $5,000; License suspension of 90 days to a year.
2nd Offense: Jail time of 30 days to a year; Fines ranging from $1,120.50 to $5,000; License suspension of 2 years to 900 days.
3rd Offense: Jail time of 90 days to a year; Fines ranging from $1,970.50 to $5,000; License suspension of 3 to 4 years.
Car Accident Attorneys and Auto Accident Lawyers in Spokane, WA
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