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Driver faces vehicular manslaughter charges after DUI accident

As we've discussed in the past, a drunk driving charge can come with serious penalties. You could face license revocation, expensive fines and possibly jail time. While these penalties can drastically affect your quality of life, other drunk driving-related charges can be much worse. One man is finding this out now after a car accident he was involved in ended in death.

The 35-year-old was driving in Prince George's County last week when he crossed the road's center line and struck an oncoming vehicle. The collision sadly resulted in the death of two passengers in the man's car. Although police said that the snowy conditions could have contributed to the accident, they say the man was intoxicated.

After a blood test was administered, it was determined that his blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit in Maryland. Additionally, he did not have a valid driver's license. Now, he is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter while impaired by alcohol and vehicular manslaughter by criminal negligence.

No one means to cause a serious car accident. And for those who do accidentally, living with the consequences is often punishment enough. However, that is not the way the law works. Vehicular manslaughter charges are taken very seriously by prosecutors, who often like to make examples of alleged drunk drivers. Because a conviction for vehicular manslaughter can result in a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, it is important that those who are facing such charges have a clear understanding of their rights and options. Knowing your rights is the first step toward protecting your freedom.

Source: The Washington Post, "Unlicensed driver faces eight charges in fatal crash in Prince George's County," Matt Zapotosky, March 26, 2013

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