Driving under the influence (DUI) of either alcohol or a similarly intoxicating substance is a criminal offense because an impaired driver is a danger to everyone on the road. Intoxication affects a person’s ability to think, react and move, significantly raising their risk of causing a collision. This is why police officers always look for drivers displaying erratic behavior behind the wheel, to preempt any disastrous crashes.
But sometimes, drunk drivers manage to slip the attention of officers and cause an accident. If the accident is so severe that it causes fatal injuries to another person, the inebriated driver can face a charge of negligent homicide.
Drunk driving crash leading to death is an offense
Under Oklahoma law, a person commits the offense of negligent homicide if another person who was injured from an accident caused by the former dies as a result.
The law also clarifies that the other person’s death must occur within one year of receiving their injuries from said accident. This means that even if the other person’s injuries weren’t immediately fatal following the accident if they still perish due to later related medical complications, the drunk driver responsible would still be on the hook.
Penalties for negligent homicide
Negligent homicide is a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment in a county jail and as much as $1,000 in fines on conviction. A court may also order the convicted to attend a driver improvement program.
The fine a convicted driver must pay doubles if the driver has any previous traffic offense record within the last three years.
In addition to these penalties, the Commissioner of Public Safety will revoke the convicted driver’s license.
Negligent homicide is a serious offense. Even if the driver wasn’t aware of the injuries they caused, they’d face jail time, fines and license revocation on conviction. If you face charges, consider consulting a legal professional. Even if you’re accused, you still have rights you can fight for in court.