Alleged drunk driving stepfather charged after step child died

Although law enforcement personnel in New York constantly campaign to create awareness of the dangers of driving a vehicle while impaired, there are nonetheless daily reports of lives lost as the result of DWI. While adults can choose not to get into a vehicle when the driver is intoxicated, children do not usually have that choice. Unfortunately, the amount number of juvenile injuries and fatalities resulting from drunk driving accidents is a tragic statistic.

A 65-year-old man who was detained after crashing into an electric pole on a recent Sunday morning had his license suspended and is facing aggravated charges of vehicular assault, along with drunk driving while carrying children in the car. However, the accused man received the sad news that one of the three children who were occupants in the car died the next day. The criminal charges may be upgraded. The deceased child, who was 11 years old, reportedly sustained serious lung and head injuries. The other two children were not injured.

The boy who died and his older brother were the step-children of the accused, while the other passenger was his 5-year-old son. The tragic accident apparently happened when he was on his way back from a social get-together, and officials reported that all the children were unrestrained by seat belts. Authorities had blood-alcohol tests done and reported that the level, at .094, was somewhat higher than the .08 threshold for drunk driving in New York. They also revealed that the man was previously convicted of drunk driving charges on two previous occasions.

When a New York resident faces any charges related to drunk driving, they may want to gain an understanding of the applicable state laws and local court procedures without delay. Notwithstanding the prior convictions, the man is regarded as innocent until -- and only if -- prosecutors can produce sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. An opportunity to engage in negotiations for a plea agreement may be presented, through which the penalties for any agreed-upon guilty plea to specific charges may be limited.

Source: New York Daily News, 11-year-old Brooklyn boy in drunk driving crash dies from injuries, Oren Yaniv, March 24, 2014

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