DUI refers to operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. It poses significant risks to both the driver and others on the road. When a DUI accident results in the death of another person, the charges escalate, leading to more severe penalties. Under Ohio law, causing death while driving under the influence is a criminal offense. The specific charge is commonly known as aggravated vehicular homicide.
The Ohio Revised Code Section 2903.06 governs this offense. Keep it here for an overview of the criminal charges for causing death while driving under the influence.
Elements of aggravated vehicular homicide
For one to establish a case of aggravated vehicular homicide, there must be evidence that the accident caused the death of another individual. Additionally, the accused must have been operating a motor vehicle during the accident while impaired by alcohol or drugs. And most importantly, it must be demonstrated that the impaired operation of the vehicle proximately caused the death.
Aggravated vehicular homicide is classified as a felony offense, and the severity of the offense determines the degree of felony. If the offender committed the offense while impaired by alcohol or a combination of drugs and alcohol, it is considered a third-degree felony. Conversely, if the offender had a prior DUI conviction, a prior vehicular homicide conviction or a prior felony conviction, the offense is elevated to a second-degree felony.
Offenders may face imprisonment ranging from two to ten years for a third-degree felony and two to fifteen years for a second-degree felony. Moreover, a driver’s license suspension is mandatory, typically ranging from three to ten years or more. And in some cases, probation may be granted instead of or in addition to imprisonment.
Causing death while driving under the influence is a grave offense that carries significant legal consequences in Ohio. Aggravated vehicular homicide charges can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines and license suspension.