Police in Texas arrested a student from the University of Houston after he was allegedly involved in a fatal car accident. Charged with intoxicated manslaughter, the student was recently denied bail, meaning that he will currently be held in police custody at least until he hires counsel, a stipulation handed down by the judge. His blood alcohol content at the time of the wreck has still not been confirmed.
The 23-year-old university student was apparently on his way home from a party in the early hours of the morning. Police believe he was speeding when he attempted to pass another vehicle, taking his pickup truck onto the sidewalk rather than the road for which he had been aiming. A couple happened to be walking along the sidewalk at the time and were hit by the truck. The girlfriend survived with injuries, though her boyfriend was killed.
Authorities took a sample of the driver’s blood shortly after taking him into custody. They also claim he admitted to drinking alcohol before the accident. The results of the blood test could potentially affect his charges depending on the resulting blood alcohol content. As it currently stands, his charge of intoxicated manslaughter could land him behind bars for 20 years.
There is no denying the seriousness of drunk driving related charges. Even misdemeanors can result in jail time and hefty fines, while virtually all those charged with being intoxicated behind the wheel stand to lose their driving privileges. Whether a charge is backed up by a definitive blood alcohol content level or not, all Texas defendants have the right to the presumption of their innocence in the eyes of the law. Simply being investigated for DUI or facing trial does not indicate guilt, which can only occur if a prosecutor is able to prove that the full extent of the charges are true beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: chron.com, “UH student accused of drunken-driving fatality denied bail“, Brian Rogers, April 20, 2016