As a Utah woman’s SUV came around a tight corner, she lost control and the vehicle slammed into a tree. When the vehicle came to a rest, it was on its side. By the time the investigation at the scene was completed, the driver was accused of being intoxicated and now faces charges that include DUI and automobile homicide.
When the first officer responded to the scene, he was unable to free the vehicle’s occupants through the windows or doors. He broke the windshield and discovered an infant who was rushed to an area hospital. Sadly, the 4-month-old girl died from the injuries she suffered in the crash. The two women in the vehicle also suffered injuries, but not as serious as those suffered by the baby.
The officer administered a breath test at the scene, which indicated that the driver’s blood alcohol content was .233. The blood test performed later resulted in a BAC of .19. The mother of the child who died originally told police that she did not know who was driving and that her child was in a car seat. After her child’s death, she changed her story to identify the other woman as the driver, that neither of them was wearing a seat belt and the baby was not in a car seat. She also claims that she knew the woman driving was drunk when they all got into the car.
Between the physical evidence gathered, the testimony of the officer and the testimony of the passenger, going to trial for the DUI and automobile homicide charges could prove risky. The woman faces up to 15 years in prison for the death of the child and up to five years for the DUI. Her criminal defense team will need to review all of the evidence Utah prosecutors intend to present to the court and determine what options will provide this woman with the best outcome possible under the circumstances.
Source: sltrib.com, “Utah woman ordered to stand trial for allegedly driving drunk, causing infant’s death“, Mariah Noble, Sept. 20, 2016