University of Minnesota accident may be due to construction

Anyone who has driven by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis or along University Avenue in St. Paul recently knows how confusing the light-rail construction is. What might be a two-way street one day may be a one-way street the next; what was once a divided road could easily become a single-lane road the next. Because of the constant changing; the, at times, blocked lines of sight; and the general pandemonium surrounding the construction, yesterday’s pedestrian accident seems like a tragic, yet inevitable, part of massive construction.

One woman has been arrested under suspicion of drunk driving after she allegedly hit six pedestrians crossing the street at the intersection of Oak and Washington. Reports indicate that the woman got out of her car after the accident and said that she hadn’t seen anyone in the crosswalk when she made her left turn.

Though Minnesota Public Radio reports that the woman may have been drunk, a Minneapolis Police sergeant believes that the construction or distraction may have also been contributing factors to the accident. It is not clear, however, what police believe may have distracted the woman from driving.

If the woman is charged with drunk driving, she could be looking at a very serious offense that could come with considerable punishment. Had someone died in the accident, she could easily have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide, both of which carry severe prison sentences, fines and have a disastrous effect on a person’s reputation. Though the woman was arrested, it is unknown if she will be charged.

Source: Minnesota Public Radio, “Six injured when car strikes East Bank group,” Elizabeth Dunbar, Oct. 15, 2012

We have covered even more serious driving under the influence of alcohol charges in our practice. Visit our vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter page to find out more.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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