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Virginia woman charged with drunk driving after man’s death

Being charged with driving under the influence can mean license suspension, fines, substance abuse programs and even jail time. One Virginia woman is facing drunk driving and DUI manslaughter charges after a car accident left one man dead.

The woman was driving her van northbound and the man was riding his bicycle in the right-hand lane going in the same direction. The woman crashed in to the man’s bicycle and the man was killed. The man was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Friends say he didn’t ever wear one, despite using the bike frequently.

The woman’s van was damaged in the collision and she was arrested in a nearby parking lot shortly after the accident. Law enforcement officials collected blood samples from the woman almost two hours later at the local jail. Court records indicate that her blood alcohol content was 0.24 percent, three times the legal limit of 0.08.

Investigators are in the process of interviewing witnesses and obtaining search warrants for the woman’s vehicle, as well as medical and phone records.

When charged with a DUI, there are a few different defenses that can be used to protect the accused from unjust consequences. In cases where a breathalyzer or blood test is taken, there are defenses relating to the administration and accuracy of the test and its results. With blood tests, the defense can question how it was administered and whether the samples were mishandled or tampered with in the chain of custody.

When a BAC test is administered later than the time of the stop, it is possible that recently consumed alcohol did not absorb in to the body’s system until the time of the test. This means that the BAC level could have been lower at the time the defendant was driving the car. Every case is different, so it is important to look at the specific case and seek help with the defenses if needed.

Source: The Roanoke Times, “Salem woman charged with DUI after crash kills Roanoke bicyclist,” Michael Sluss, April 1, 2014



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