The most common criminal charge resulting from a DUI death accident is homicide by a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol per se. This particular crime is a felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison. Just as in standard cases in Maryland, DUI per se is defined as operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. The blood alcohol level of a driver that is suspected to be under the influence is typically obtained by a breath alcohol test using the intoxilyzer machine. In DUI death accidents the blood alcohol level of a driver suspected to be under the influence is almost always obtained by an actual blood test. Keep in mind that in Maryland anyone who is involved in a car accident resulting in death or serious injury that is suspected to be under the influence of alcohol must by law submit to a blood alcohol test. Therefore there will be a blood alcohol test in nearly all of these cases, which means that a much larger percentage of these cases will be DUI per se. Police may also arrest a person for this crime if there is no blood alcohol test, but this is much less common. Some reasons that a valid blood alcohol test would not be present could be the EMT's failure to get an adequate sample, the defendant leaving the scene of the accident, or the police simply forgetting to instruct medical technicians to take a blood sample. None of these events would bar a prosecution for DUI homicide, but could provide a Maryland criminal lawyer with additional defenses.
Many defendants that are arrested for DUI homicide in Maryland are not arrested at the scene of the crime because they themselves may have serious injuries that require immediate treatment. Therefore police will often not be able to conduct field sobriety exercises or gather probable cause to make an arrest through other means. Maryland drunk driving fatality cases are often not filed immediately, but rather days later when the blood alcohol test results come back from the medical lab. In other words there is nothing legally insufficient about the police making a DUI homicide arrest days after the accident at a person's home or place of work. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident resulting in death, do not wait for the police to show up at your home or work and make an arrest. The Herbst Firm can start working on your case immediately and assure that your rights are protected.