Defendant Faces Serious Consequences for Alleged Drunk Driving Fatal Crash
A recent accident in Campbell County resulted in one woman’s death, and multiple other injuries. Law enforcement have now charged the at-fault driver with driving under the influence, among other charges. Accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities which were caused by intoxicated drivers can have serious legal consequences for the driver.
On November 25, 2016, a Honda Odyssey van was traveling along Route 501 near Volunteer Road in Gladys. A Toyota Highlander SUV being driven by Anthony Chambers, 48, of Lynchburg, was traveling in the opposite direction. In an attempt to pass the car in front of him, Chambers crossed the center line, colliding with the Odyssey. Chambers, along with his four passengers, were all taken to Lynchburg General Hospital with injuries ranging in severity from minor to serious. The driver and front-seat passenger of the Odyssey were also taken to the hospital for their serious injuries. The Odyssey’s back-seat passenger, a 77-year-old woman, was taken to Lynchburg General, where she ultimately died later that evening. Chambers was placed under arrest for driving under the influence, and for driving on a revoked license, with possible additional charges to be filed pending an investigation.
The consequences for a Virginia DUI are severe, even when no aggravating circumstances are present. Those convicted of even a first-time DUI can face a suspension of their driver’s license for up to a year, which can have a serious negative impact on a career. However, the consequences become much more serious when a drunk driver causes serious or fatal injuries. If you cause an accident while drunk, and another person is killed in that accident, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is a felony. A conviction for involuntary manslaughter could carry a penalty of up to one year in jail. If the court finds that your behavior was “gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life”– for example, by having an extremely high blood alcohol level at the time of the crash—then that prison sentence could balloon to 20 years. It is critical that you find an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney when charged with a serious felony such as involuntary manslaughter.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Virginia, such as a DUI or reckless driving, make sure your rights are protected before the court by contacting the Virginia criminal defense attorneys at the Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225.