In most accidents alleged to be caused by drunk driving, only one driver is accused of being under the influence of alcohol. An unusual exception occurred on August 12 near Belleville when two alleged intoxicated drivers were involved in two related accidents. Because both accidents involved injuries, the penalties for conviction may be especially harsh, thereby putting a premium on the drivers being able to retain experienced DUI defense attorneys.
The first crash occurred shortly after 10 p.m. when a GMC pickup was northbound on Route 4. The driver is alleged to have crossed the centerline and collided head-on with a semi-trailer truck. The driver of the GMC was airlifted to St. Louis University Medical Center in critical condition, and the driver of the semi was treated for minor injuries at St. Joseph Hospital in Highland. Police had earlier received several 911 calls alleging that the GMC driver was driving erratically.
As the debris from the first accident was being cleared away, a Ford Mustang heading south on Route 4 slammed into the rear of a semi-trailer that was stopped at the accident scene. The driver of the Mustang was also transported to the St. Louis Medical Center in serious condition. The drivers of the GMC pickup and the Mustang were later arrested and charged with various DUI offenses.
Sorting out issues of criminal liability in this unusual case is likely to be a complex task. Anyone charged with a DUI offense involving a multi-vehicle collision and injuries may therefore wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice on the weight of the evidence and the law that governs the case. A knowledgeable attorney can also provide an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.
Source: Belleville News-Democrat, “Two people charged with DUI after Illinois 4 crashes,” Joseph Bustos, Aug. 12, 2017