We’ve heard of cases where both individuals involved in an automobile accident end up facing DUI charges, but we have to say, what happened in Wisconsin on Sunday is a first for us. According to police, all three drivers involved in an automobile accident were criminally charged with Operating While Intoxicated.
According to the incident report, Mount Pleasant police officers said it all began when the driver of a 2011 Ford F-250 drifted into the northbound lane of Highway 32 and struck a 2000 GMC Yukon, just before 3 a.m. Moments later, a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox struck the stalled vehicles, causing the Yukon to burst into flames. However, the driver of the Yukon was nowhere to be found because he had previously fled the scene.
Responding officers arrived on scene and determined that both the drivers of the F-250 and the Equinox “showed signs of impairment” and were charged with OWI. Later, the driver of the Yukon was located at an area hospital and was also eventually charged with suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
DUI Times Three
While this is certainly a unique situation, it speaks to a point we always try to make with those who decide to get behind the wheel after consuming any amount of alcohol. You could be the world’s best drunk driver and still end up in an accident, facing criminal charges because someone else caused an accident you were involved in. Two of the three drivers in this situation likely felt that they were “unlucky” to receive an OWI. After all, one was struck by a drunk driver that faded into their lane, and the other came upon an unexpected crash that impeded safe travel when it was pitch black outside.
However, both of them made the unwise decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. It doesn’t matter that “it wasn’t their fault” or that they were “unlucky,” the fact of the matter is they were involved in an accident while they were over the legal driving limit, and now they will have to face the consequences.
So while it’s a unique situation, don’t assume that you’re safe to drive after drinking because you’re “more focused” or “can handle your alcohol.” All it takes is an unexpected situation to arise, and you’ll be held liable, even if your intoxication didn’t truly factor into the accident. You’re still going to face the consequences for drinking and driving, so make smart choices.
And if you end up in a sticky situation facing DUI or DWI charges in the greater Twin Cities area, please reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today.