A man whose passenger was killed in a car accident is facing drunk driving charges, according to local police. The Nov. 22 crash has led to a DUI charge for the driver, who allegedly admitted to being drunk behind the wheel when the crash occurred. His passenger was killed in the crash, and several other people were injured. He was due to appear in a Minnesota court for the first time on Dec. 10.
According to the accident record, the 21-year-old man apparently failed to stop at a red light around 2 a.m. on the morning in question. As a result, he T-boned another vehicle, seriously injuring the 38-year-old driver of that vehicle. His passenger, a 20-year-old man, was killed on impact, and a second passenger, a 17-year-old girl, was found some distance away from the accident site with stomach lacerations.
The man was apparently sitting in a snow bank when the police arrived, at which time he allegedly confessed to driving drunk and asked attending officers to arrest him. His BAC was found to be .043, well below the legal limit for Minnesota. If he is convicted on the DUI, he could face up to 16 years in prison.
Alleged admissions of guilt made at the site of an accident are not often considered particularly iron-clad, considering the driver could well be in shock following such a traumatic event. Additionally, a DUI charge may not hold up if the evidence suggests he was below the legal limit. Minnesota defense may wish to highlight the legal inconsistencies of such a claim when the case goes to court.
Source: CBS Minnesota, "Coon Rapids Man Charged with Killing Friend While Driving Drunk", Dec. 5, 2014