Drunk driving crashes come in many tastes and colors, but Illinois accidents that result in serious injury or death are by far the most serious. A driver who is found guilty of one or more crimes involving death or serious injury may face incarceration, a hefty fine and lengthy, if not permanent, loss of driving privileges.
A recent accident on a rural road shows the potential effect of such a sentence. On Oct. 20, a pickup truck being driven by a 20-year-old man from Pinckneyville careened off a rural road in Perry County road and landed in a ditch. When police arrived, they discovered that one of the passengers had suffered serious injuries. The victim, an 18-year-old girl, was flown to a hospital in St. Louis for treatment of her injuries. Her medical status is not yet known.
The driver of the truck was arrested at the scene and charged with DUI, improper lane usage and consumption of alcohol by a person under the age of 21. If the young woman suffers great bodily injury or permanent disfigurement, the driver may be charged with aggravated DUI. If that were to happen, the driver would face a mandatory sentence of 10 days in prison or 480 hours of community service, the possibility of a sentence of 12 years in prison, one year loss of driving privileges and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Anyone facing such charges is entitled to be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but the possibility of a conviction cannot be ignored. Seeking advice from an experienced DUI defense attorney can provide a useful evaluation of the case, suggestions of potential defense strategies and, if appropriate, assistance in negotiating a favorable plea agreement.