A young man was arraigned for Feb. 8 driving drunk in an accident that killed another man, WCVB Boston reported. Prosecutors say David Diaz, 23, was drunk and asleep at the wheel when he hit Lay Bou, 56, on Route 110 in Methuen. Bou was jogging facing oncoming traffic, as was his habit, when Diaz hit him around 8:30 a.m. Bou was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Diaz also suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. There, a blood test showed he had a BAC of 0.16, twice the legal limit. Prosecutors say Diaz told police he doesn’t remember the crash, and accuse him of falling asleep at the wheel. According to the article, Diaz said he had left work around 3 a.m. and drank several beers at a friend’s house.
At the arraignment, Diaz was charged with operating under the influence, felony motor vehicle homicide and failure to stay in his lane. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. The judge in the case ordered $10,000 bail, but said that if Diaz posts bail, conditions of his release include submitting to breathalyzer tests and giving up his passport.
Read article: Prosecutor: Drunken Driver Asleep At Wheel
If he has not already done so Diaz must retain the services of a Massachusetts OUI defense attorney, because these are serious allegations. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison on the felony motor vehicle homicide charge, plus potential jail time for the OUI charge as well. Importantly, however, the prosecution cannot convict on this charge simply by showing that the defendant was driving drunk when the fatal accident happened. In order to obtain a felony conviction, prosecutors must also show that the defendant was operating recklessly or negligently. This can be tough, because a lot depends on the circumstances of the crash and how well they are documented. If prosecutors can’t prove recklessness or negligence, they would have to reduce the charge down to misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide, which doesn’t require a recklessness showing. That charge carries up to two and a half years in prison, substantially less than the maximum of 15 for the felony charge. An experienced Massachusetts drunk driving criminal defense lawyer may also be able to challenge the blood test in court, if its validity, accuracy or chain of custody are suspect.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman represent clients accused of all types of intoxicated driving crimes, from simple OUI to OUI with bodily injury or death. If you’re accused of one of these serious crimes, don’t hesitate to call and learn how attorney Neyman can help. For a free phone consultation, you can call (617) 263-6800 or contact our office through the Internet.