CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

Drunk driver kills hospital worker in wrong-way collision

Posted March 25, 2015

The tragic consequences of drunk driving were once again demonstrated by a head-on collision in Suffolk County. An intoxicated driver crossed the center line and collided with a car headed in the other direction. The driver of the second car was taken to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

This case has an especially ironic twist: the deceased man was employed by the hospital as a radiology supervisor, and he was heading home after completing his shift. He died in the hospital where he worked.

The intoxicated driver was arrested for DWI and released from custody. At her arraignment, her lawyer apologized on her behalf to the family of the dead man. The woman’s level of intoxication was not disclosed by the police, nor was the manner by which her blood alcohol content (“BAC”) was measured. The driver could face serious criminal charges because she was drunk and because the accident involved a fatality. If her BAC was more than .08 percent and less than .18 percent, she could be charged with vehicular homicide; if her BAS exceeded .18 percent, she could be charged with aggravated criminal homicide. Both crimes are felonies, and punishment could be a fine or imprisonment or both. The exact nature of any criminal charges in this incident must await a decision by a grand jury.

As this case demonstrates, the potential consequences of drunk driving can be devastating for both the drink driver and victims and their family. The potential criminal charges and penalties for someone charged with a DWI in a fatal automobile accident require a consultation with a lawyer who is very experienced in handling such cases. Such a lawyer can evaluate the facts of the case, identify any available defenses (such as a defect in the testing of the driver’s BAC) ensure that the adverse consequences are kept to a minimum.

Source: NBC New York, “DWI Crash Victim Dies in Hospital Where He Works: Police,” March 13, 2015

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