Florida motorist facing DUI manslaughter charges

Driving while intoxicated can have tragic results, and now a Florida man is seeing the consequences of his actions.

The 42-year-old man is facing DUI manslaughter charges following an arrest at his home by Panama City Police recently. The arrest stemmed from a February accident which allegedly caused the wrongful death of a 27-year-old resident of Panama City Beach.

Investigators asserted that the charged driver’s blood alcohol content at the time of the fatal accident registered at .22, which is well above the legal limit of .08. Police also stated that the man had previously been charged with another DUI, possibly in another state.

If convicted of the DUI charge, which is a second degree felony, the man could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. Investigators say that the motorist was operating his van east on the Hathaway Bridge at approximately 12:30 a.m. on the date of the accident. When his van swerved to the left, it hit several lighted traffic barrels in a nearby construction zone, according to the Panama City News Herald.

His van then veered into the westbound lane, resulting in a head-on collision on the bridge with the other driver’s Eclipse. The force of the impact caused injuries so severe that the other driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver facing DUI charges himself suffered injuries in the crash, which required him to be taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released.

Source: Panama City News Herald, “Man charged with DUI manslaughter,” Jessica McCarthy, March 31, 2012