Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Driving under the influence: Wisconsin man charged

Back in Oct. 2011, a Wisconsin woman died after having been involved in an accident. The driver of the vehicle that hit her has been charged with driving under the influence at the time of the crash. In Mar. 2012, the driver was also charged with vehicular homicide in connection with her death.

The accident occurred as the woman was headed north and the man was headed south on County Highway HH in Juneau County. Authorities have indicated that, as the woman came around a curve, the other vehicle slammed into her. Both drivers had to be taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin woman did not survive her injuries and died at the hospital within days of the accident.

In the meantime, a blood sample was taken from the other driver to determine whether he was impaired at the time of the accident. Test results indicate that within 70 minutes of the accident, the man's blood alcohol level was 0.104 percent. The legal limit in Wisconsin is 0.08 percent. The man's cell phone also indicated that as many as 12 text messages had been sent in the minutes leading up to the accident.

Even though it won't bring her back, the family of the woman that died in this accident retains the right to file a wrongful death claim against the driver. Her family could use the fact that toxicology results have indicated that the man may have been driving under the influence at the time of the crash in seeking to prove that the driver was negligent and that his actions caused or contributed to the woman's death. Further, should the man be convicted of a crime in connection with her death that conviction may also be offered as evidence of liability in a related civil court action.

Source: Juneau County Star Times, "Fatal-crash defendant waives preliminary hearing," Peter Rebhahn, Jan. 18, 2013

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