Back in November of 2013, a young woman drinking at a Coral Springs bar sent out a tweet that said “2 drunk 2 care.” An hour later, she was involved in a crash that claimed the lives of two people. It is alleged that the young woman was driving the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway.
As is the case with DUI manslaughter investigations, Florida Highway Patrol took their time reconstructing the accident, taking statements, and waiting for the blood-alcohol results.
The blood taken from the accused at the time of the crash was .15. The legal limit in Florida is .08.
The accused is being held without bond right now in the Broward County Jail. Once she goes to Broward bond court, Judge John “Jay” Hurley, Broward County’s bond court judge, will set a bond.
I imagine that given the charges, it will be in the six-figure range.
In cases with blood-alcohol readings, expert analysis of the blood results can be helpful to the defense. Since most blood draws occur after the crash scene has been cleared, the result at the time of the draw is usually higher than the actual blood-alcohol content was at the time of the crash.
If you consume alcohol and then get into your car, it is probable that your body is absorbing the alcohol. That means that the actual amount of alcohol in your blood isn’t as high as it is eventually going to be once the alcohol is absorbed. It is possible to consume a large quantity of alcohol is a short period of time, drive, without having a high blood-alcohol content. While driving after consuming too much alcohol is always a bad idea, the legal requirement is that you be impaired while driving, not after driving.
Experts can use science, known as “retrograde extrapolation” to determine with a fair degree of accuracy what a person’s blood-alcohol content was at the time they were driving.
In the case of a .15 reading, however, it is still very likely that the accused’s blood-alcohol content was over a .08 at the time of the crash.
Eric Matheny is a Miami DUI manslaughter lawyer and Broward DUI manslaughter lawyer.