According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were 162 fatal alcohol-related collisions in the state in 2015 of a total of 4,269 accidents caused by drunk driving. For the most part, there are laws and regulations covering DUI or driving under the influence.
These laws do hold people accountable but are they enough? Some people are more guilty than others. Some people get DUI tickets and do not deserve them which happens all the time in broken cities, Sacramento is certainly one of them. Laws may shape behavior but are they the ultimate answer? Perhaps people cannot be 100% accountable; perhaps this is another reason autonomous vehicles are coming to a dealership near you soon.
The laws continue to get tougher yet so many people continue to make ridiculous decisions. Almost as ridiculous as unleashing Obamacare onto America but that is another topic.
These laws enforce legal penalties for individuals who are arrested for driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legally allowed limit of 0.08%. The penalties for a conviction can include monetary fines, prison time, as well as temporary suspension of driver’s licenses, according to stellar DUI lawyers in Owensboro, KY who can be found on the amazing website USAttorneys.com which is a site dedicated helping anyone who needs legal help for a myriad of reasons and in a variety of legal subjects.
Furthermore, such legal penalties can be harsher if the DUI accident resulted in serious bodily injury to another individual/s. In several states, the suspect is charged with a felony, which is a serious criminal charge with more serious outcomes such as extended sentences in a state prison facility and cessation of all driving privileges.
What is “Serious Bodily Injury”?
The definition of SBI or serious bodily can vary from one state to another. Some states may term the offense SBH or “serious bodily harm”. States like Kentucky often use the term “serious physical injury” so you could think of this as SPI.
SBI or SPI consists of the following:
- Severe physical pain
- Protracted or permanent injury to a bodily organ
- Injuries entailing considerable risk of death, such as profuse bleeding
- Protracted or obvious disfigurement, such as burn wounds that last over an extended period
- Loss of one’s mental faculties
In DUI cases in general, severe bodily injury must be proved via medical documentation. Some cases can necessitate an expert medical witness’s testimony to confirm the gravity of the injuries. Cases that entail the loss of life of another individual can be prosecuted in a different way from other DUI cases involving serious bodily injury. If the auto accident ended in a fatality, then the case may be tried under the DUI vehicular homicide laws.
There is no reason to drive drunk at all. Unless there is an emergency and if you are clearly drunk (0.16 BAC or higher, just an estimate) then there is certainly no reason to drive drunk. You are just making the situation worse.
Consequences of DUI causing serious bodily injury
In 2015, 4.90% of collisions were caused due to drugged driving while alcohol accounted for 15.85% of all accidents. DUI cases involving serious bodily injury are usually filed under felony charges. A felony charge attracts harsher legal consequences as compared to a misdemeanor charge.
Apart from the consequences mentioned above, felony charges can inflict additional penalties on the defendant such as attending compulsory alcohol rehabilitation courses, permanent charges on the convict’s record, loss of civic privileges, and mandatory counseling, to name a few.
Defenses to DUI charges
As with other DUIs, there are defenses that might be available even in auto accidents where serious bodily injury has occurred. However, this can relieve the defendant of guilt only partially while some defenses merely reduce the charges.
Some DUI defenses include:
- Inappropriate DUI testing such as a faulty breathalyzer examination
- Unlawful traffic stop/arrest
- Inadequate proof of the arrest
Any person who faces DUI charges has the right to seek legal representation. Under the circumstances, it is always prudent to have a committed and solid DUI lawyer in Kentucky by your side, particularly when the DUI charges include serious bodily injury. Just make sure to seek legal help as soon as possible.
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