A Wisconsin man told sheriff's deputies that ice on the road caused him to lose control of his vehicle. Yet, he also said that he and his friend had been drinking and driving around that night. As a result, the driver was taken into custody in connection with the suspected DUI accident.
When the driver lost control of the vehicle, it flipped and slammed into a tree. His friend and passenger did not survive the crash. As a result, the man faces charges of intoxicated vehicular homicide and driving with a suspended license with a death involved.
He faces a total possible prison sentence of 31 years. At his first appearance before a judge, his bail was set at $5,000. The report did not indicate whether the 19-year-old posted bail or is still in custody.
Every driver in Wisconsin owes a duty to his or her passengers and anyone else on the road. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and diminishes the driver's ability to fulfill that duty. The potential consequences could include criminal proceedings. Moreover, drunk driving could also cause serious injury or death to anyone around an impaired driver -- including any passengers in the vehicle.
Another consequence of having a DUI accident is the possibility of a civil action filed by a victim -- or that victim's family in the case of death. In this case, the family of the passenger killed in the crash retains the right under Wisconsin law to file a wrongful death claim seeking damages incurred because of the loss of their loved one. If it turns out the driver was intoxicated, that fact may provide evidence of his negligence, which is required in order for the court to consider an award of damages.
Source: postcrescent.com, "Neenah man faces homicide charge after fatal crash", , April 3, 2014