On March 7, a Virginia woman was sentenced to five years in prison for striking and injuring two bicyclists in a drunk driving accident in May 2017. She pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI with maiming in November.
According to media reports, the 39-year-old defendant was driving her Nissan Sentra on 19th Street in Virginia Beach after midnight when she struck two female bicyclists. One victim, age 22, suffered a fractured skull, while her friend, age 20, suffered a broken leg. Authorities determined that the defendant had a blood-alcohol level of .26 at the time of the crash, which is more than three times Virginia's legal limit of .08.
The 22-year-old suffered brain swelling as a result of the accident and was hospitalized for two months. She experienced permanent damage to her sight, hearing, sense of taste and sense of smell. The defendant apologized to both victims in court before she was sentenced.
If convicted, defendants charged with drunk driving can face severe consequences, including incarceration, heavy fines and the suspension of their driver's license. The stakes are even higher if someone was injured as the result of an alleged drunk driving accident. As a result, DUI defendants may wish to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney might review the case and work to build a solid defense against the allegations. For example, it may be possible to dispute the blood alcohol test results, which could get the charges reduced or dismissed. It may also be possible to negotiate a plea deal that allows the defendant to plead guilty to reduced charges, which could substantially lower the penalties.Source: WAVY, "Woman gets 5 years for driving drunk, seriously injuring two bicyclists," Chris Horne, March 7, 2018