Oklahoma's Oldest DUI Defense Firm

Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

What are the penalties for killing someone while driving drunk?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | DUI Manslaughter |

A night on the town celebrating and relaxing at a local bar can turn tragic in a split second. A driver getting behind the wheel of a car, regardless of how much alcohol is consumed, presents potential dangers to anyone on the road.

Serous DUI manslaughter charges

While an inebriated driver likely does not have the intention of harming or killing a fellow traveler in an accident, being under the influence can result in tragic outcomes. In Oklahoma, DUI-related accidents can be charged as felony manslaughter, with convictions resulting in significant prison sentences of approximately four years.

Causing the death due to “reckless disregard” and failing to act reasonably when it comes to the safety of others can result in negligent homicide charges. A vehicular homicide charge is likely when the criminal allegations involve a car.

Suspects should know that reckless driving that causes death requires a direct link between the operation of the car and the fatality that occurred. Death does not have to be immediate. In Oklahoma, victims who die within a year of the collision can result in criminal charges against the other driver.

Charged as a misdemeanor in the Sooner State, those convicted could serve a year in jail with the possibility of $1,000 in maximum fines. Should the suspect have previous convictions of traffic violations over the past three years, the penalty is double. In addition, those convicted must complete driver improvement and defensive driving classes and serve a one-year license suspension.

Serious and high-stakes DUI manslaughter charges represent potentially life-changing consequences that require equally serious legal representation.