A Virginia judge approved the settlement of a wrongful death claim against a woman who is serving jail time for the deaths of two men. The woman had been convicted of felony DUI after hitting the car in which the two men were traveling with her own vehicle as she was driving after drinking. The woman is serving a sentence of 49 months in a women's correctional facility for her felony DUI and manslaughter convictions.
The two men were in a sedan, turning into an apartment complex, when the woman hit the side of their car with her SUV. A court re-enactment of the incident showed she was going 71 mph and the speed limit was 45. The collision caused the sedan to spin around, hit a curb and then spin around again. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.
In court, it was verified that the woman had consumed several drinks before she drove her car that night. Blood tests given a few hours after the incident showed that her blood alcohol content was well over the legal limit of .08 percent. According to court documents, she had no memory of her actions that night. The families of both men felt the sentence she received was not severe enough. One wrongful death lawsuit against the woman still remains open.
To convict a person of vehicular manslaughter and DUI in Virginia, it is up to the state to prove that a person was actually intoxicated, that traffic laws were broken and that the death of another person was caused by breaking the law. In this woman's situation, it appears the state's case was strong enough for her felony DUI conviction. For anyone who may be facing similar charges, some research may need to be performed to find out how charges can be reduced or even dismissed.
Source: NewsAdvance.com : News - Local Lynchburg, Va. Area, Wrongful-death lawsuit settled against Bedford woman, Justin Faulconer, Jan. 23, 2014