Law enforcement officers usually have an easy time pinpointing the individual who should be arrested for an accident involving Driving Under the Influence (DUI). However, what happens when law enforcement arrives at the scene several minutes after the incident occurred? Since it may be more difficult to identify who the driver is, officers need to take the word of the individuals at the scene about who was behind the wheel.
This scenario became an issue in Shelby County, Tennessee when law enforcement arrested a 24-year-old female suspect in late September for failing to yield the right of way and leaving the scene of an accident. The accident that occurred resulted in the death of a motorcycle rider as well as the hospitalization of the rider’s significant other. The police report stated the suspect was backing a pickup truck with a trailer out of a driveway when she hit the motorcycle as it was driving by.
The motorcycle driver died at the scene, and the passenger on the back of the bike was taken to the hospital. The report stated the suspect did not stop before hitting the motorcycle or when she hit the motorcycle and ended up completely backed into the neighbor’s yard across the street. The suspect then tried to hide the severely damaged truck behind her home. The suspect then returned to the scene of the accident, where a neighbor reported seeing her standing in the street.
A short time after taking the blame for the incident, the suspect changed her story and posted her retraction on social media. In this statement, the suspect said her father was the one who had been driving the truck when the accident occurred, and she had lied to law enforcement to prevent him from going to jail. The suspect’s father had four previous DUI convictions and was on probation after serving jail time – the suspect herself only had a speed ticket on her driving record.
If the suspect’s father is in fact the guilty party, given his previous criminal record, he could face very harsh penalties. It is possible for the state to revoke his driving privileges for life, designate him as a habitual traffic offender, and cause him to face additional, lengthy jail time. If you or someone you know is facing a DUI conviction, it is vitally important to seek the legal advice of a knowledge DUI lawyer within your state.