The crime of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death is a serious felony offense that can be committed in various ways. A person will be charged with Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death if he/she has a body alcohol content of .08 or higher and is the substantial cause of another person’s death. This offense normally occurs when two vehicles are involved in a fatal accident and one of the driver’s was drunk. It can be very difficult to challenge these charges, especially when a driver has a high body alcohol content. However, if the drunk driver was not a substantial cause of the other person’s death, an acquittal can be obtained.
A person can also be charged with Operating While Impaired Causing Death if he/she had a body alcohol content that was less than .08 and was involved in a fatal accident. This type of offense is more difficult to prove because there has to be evidence that the impaired driver was substantially affected by alcohol when driving and getting into the fatal accident.
Another option for prosecutors is the offense of drugged driving causing death, it is another form of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death. A driver who has any amount of an illegal drug in his/her body or is intoxicated by certain types of prescription drugs can be charged with this offense when a fatal accident occurs. People using medical marijuana remain exposed to this type of felony charge if they are involved in a fatal accident.
No matter what form of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death the prosecutor charges, a conviction on this offense will require a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. The typical sentence on an Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death in Washtenaw County is 5-7 years. A long-term driver license revocation will also result from a conviction on this offense.