A Northern Minnesota woman has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation after a car accident was reported Saturday in Carlton County, Minnesota. Prosecutors say that deputies detected an odor of alcohol during an investigation into the crash. Officials also say that the woman admitted to having consumed alcohol earlier in the day. She was taken to a hospital for treatment, where authorities reportedly obtained a blood sample for alcohol testing.
Sadly, law enforcement says that a 34-year-old woman was killed in the accident and her husband was injured. Law enforcement arrested the rural Esko, Minnesota woman who is accused of drunk driving in the crash after she was released from a Duluth, Minnesota, hospital on Monday. The felony CVH and CVO charges reportedly were formally filed in Carlton County on Wednesday.
Minnesota’s criminal vehicular homicide or operation statute does not necessarily require proof of alcohol consumption or the presence of some other substance in all cases. A person may face the felony charges based upon evidence of gross negligence in driving without additional proof of being under the influence.
However, if authorities allege the a driver is under the influence of alcohol or other substance, or that the person measures 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration in a fatal or injury accident, the state may bring CVH or CVH charges with a lower standard of negligence.
Like any criminal charge, legal and factual questions can be complex. A Minnesota criminal defense lawyer can assist a person accused of a crime in understanding the complexity of the law, while seeking to aggressively present a defense in court.
Source: Duluth News Tribune, “Esko woman charged with vehicular homicide,” Wendy Johnson–Pine Journal, June 5, 2013; Minnesota Statutes section 609.21