A 26-year-old woman in Pensacola has been sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment in connection to a fatal DUI incident last April. Authorities there report that the defendant rear-ended a car and killed a man on Interstate 10. A breath test is said to have determined that the woman’s BAC was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
In addition, it is alleged that she only briefly stopped and did not render aid to the victim, instead electing to continue driving until she was detained by police. Law enforcement personnel maintain that she was driving at least 92 mph before the crash; the other vehicle rolled over on impact and ejected the decedent. In December, the woman pleaded no contest to charges of DUI manslaughter.
A case like this may implicate several different scenarios that could be worth further consideration. For instance, blood alcohol testing done in the field can be subject to inaccuracy in some conditions. Weather conditions can sometimes cause erroneous readings in the radar devices commonly used by law enforcement personnel, and only a few field sobriety tests are accepted to have a scientific basis. Medical conditions on the part of the defendant can also lead to a mistaken accusation of DUI, particularly where symptoms closely match those commonly associated with alcohol intoxication such as hypoglycemia.
Although the defendant, in this case, has already been convicted, it might still be possible to appeal her sentence if errors were made by the court during the legal process. New evidence admitted into consideration may be able to force a new trial or allow for her sentence to be renegotiated. If the defendant has no prior offenses on her record, for instance, her DUI lawyer might argue for alternative sentencing such as intensive supervision, community service or house arrest.