A possible double DUI accident that occurred early Thursday morning – February 27 – has left local authorities and investigators baffled by the lack of serious injuries. According to officials from the Bellevue Police Department, the fact that a passenger in the one the vehicles was not seriously injured, let alone killed, is amazing. Authorities reported that the incident could – and should – have been much worse.
Shortly before dawn Thursday morning, a vehicle making a turn at the 148th St. / NE 31st St. intersection near the Microsoft Campus at the border of Bellevue and Redmond was T-boned by a SUV believed to have been speeding at the time. According to investigators who later arrived at the scene, the majority of the collision's force was absorbed by the pillar separating the front and back doors. Still, authorities were "amazed" that the passenger did not suffer more serious injuries.
Bellevue PD reported that both drivers exhibited signs of impairment. Both were arrested for vehicular assault until investigators can more definitively determine who is at fault and whether either driver was actually impaired. A department official also commented that the driver responsible for causing the crash would likely face the vehicular assault charge and that the other would be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).
DUI Accidents Causing Injury or Death
Fortunately, this accident did not result in serious injuries or death. For thousands of other drunk driving accidents, however, the same cannot be said. Because drunk driving does injure and kill numerous Americans each year, law enforcement throughout the state of Washington and the United States have intensified their focus on arresting, prosecuting, and severely penalizing impaired drivers. Motorists who cause injury or death as the result of driving impaired face event steeper consequences.
- Vehicular Assault –Individuals who cause injuries while driving under the influence may be charged with vehicular assault, which is punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and up to five years' imprisonment.
- Vehicular Manslaughter –Vehicular manslaughter, also referred to as vehicular homicide, is the most serious DUI allegation one can face. Individuals who cause death while driving under the influence can face life-altering penalties and lengthy terms of imprisonment.
If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI – including vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter – working with an experienced defense lawyer should be your first priority. For a FREE case evaluation with Seattle DUI attorney Jonathan Dichter, call 866-620-9524.