A Virginia judge sent two men to prison on Aug. 8 in connection with an April 2015 drunk driving crash that claimed the life of a 33-year-old woman. A 34-year-old Chesapeake man will spend five years in prison and pay a $500 fine, and a 35-year-old Norfolk man was sentenced to a prison term of seven years and ordered to pay a $700 fine. The two men were convicted on charges of DUI, DUI maiming and DUI manslaughter. The accident took place at the intersection of Greenwich Road and Newtown Road in Virginia Beach on April 12, 2015, at approximately 2:30 a.m.
According to police reports, the 34-year-old man's Ford Mustang was proceeding northbound on Newtown Road when it struck the 35-year-old man's Chevrolet Malibu as it was making a left turn from the southbound lane of Newtown Road onto Greenwich Road. Police determined that both drivers were at fault. Accident investigators determined that the Chevrolet had failed to yield before turning, and they estimated the Ford's speed to be between 61 mph and 70 mph at the time of the crash. The posted speed limit in the area is 35 mph.
Rescue workers pronounced a 33-year-old woman dead at the scene. Reports indicate that she had been traveling in the Chevrolet's front passenger seat. Another of the 35-year-old man's passengers suffered serious injuries in the accident including a traumatic brain injury, a broken pelvis, a broken leg, two collapsed lungs and nine broken ribs.
The consequences of driving under the influence can be severe in Virginia when accidents have caused death or serious injury. When the possible sanctions are severe and the evidence against their clients is convincing, experienced criminal defense attorneys could urge prosecutors to settle drunk driving cases. Trials are expensive and proving criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt can be difficult, and prosecutors may be willing to show leniency in return for a speedy resolution.