A Virginia man who was driving under the influence (DUI) and killed two people last year pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence. Anthony Caldwell, 31, from Stafford pled guilty earlier this month and will serve six to twelve years in prison for the deaths. Caldwell was traveling on Route 222 near the Peach Road overpass in September 2017 when he struck a tow truck driver that was helping a disabled motorist on the side of the road. The tow truck driver, Ralph Henry Watrous II, 44, and the motorist, Robert M. Buckwalter Jr., 46, were both killed by the impact.
According to the court records, Caldwell had a few drinks after work with a friend before getting behind the wheel. He fell asleep while driving and had a 0.088% blood alcohol content when he was tested. Caldwell did not have a Virginia driver’s license, only a learner’s permit that required him to drive with a licensed adult in the vehicle. There was no licensed person in the vehicle at the time of the crash. His sentence included concurrent and consecutive sentences for homicide by vehicle, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, and for an accident involving death while not properly licensed.
DUI Accidents Resulting in Death
In Virginia, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence and causes an accident that results in death, that person can be additionally charged under Virginia law for DUI Related Involuntary Manslaughter. In order to prove this crime, it must be shown that at the time of the accident, you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and unintentionally caused the death of another person. The easiest way for the police to prove that you were under the influence while driving is through a chemical test, either breath, blood, or urine. However, you do not have to consent to chemical testing unless presented with a warrant by police. The other method is through field sobriety testing, which you do also not have to consent to if a police officer requests it. If you are involved in an accident where a person dies, it is imperative that you call an expert criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to handle your case, and definitely hire representation before making a statement to police about what happened.
The penalties for DUI Related Involuntary Manslaughter are serious. It includes a prison sentence up to ten years and a fine up to $2,500. In addition, your car is subject to civil seizure and forfeit, the DMV in Virginia will add six demerit points to your driving record, and your driver’s license will be revoked indefinitely.
Call the Office Today
If you or a loved one has been accused of committing DUI Related Involuntary Manslaughter in the Richmond area, call or contact our office immediately at Del Rio Law to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about taking your case.