Fatal Missouri crash leads to 9-year sentence on DWI charges

Most people arrested and/or convicted of drunk driving charges never intend harm to anyone. Nevertheless, sometimes others suffer harm, and it can be particularly devastating when it happens to someone that the driver is close to. A mother from Smithville, Missouri, recently pleaded guilty to Class B felony charges of driving while intoxicated in connection with a crash that occurred just over a year ago and claimed her five-year-old daughter’s life. Last week, a court sentenced her to nine years in prison. 

Following the collision, the woman reportedly told law enforcement that she had consumed approximately 1 1/2 to two bottles of wine from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the date in question. The accident occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. that evening. The woman reportedly informed law enforcement that she remembered hitting an electrical pole after losing control of her vehicle but was unable to tell them how fast she had been traveling. 

Authorities found the woman’s vehicle on the north side of the road in a ditch, with extensive damage. Chemical testing allegedly demonstrated that her blood alcohol concentration was more than twice the legal limit. The woman’s five-year-old daughter later succumbed to her injuries at the hospital. Information as to the exact nature of her injuries is currently unavailable. 

Prosecutors claimed that the woman’s alleged impairment was an aggravating factor that should result in stronger penalties for putting a child in harm’s way rather than a mitigating factor. In either case, however, court documents describe the woman’s immediate remorse in the aftermath of the crash. 

There is nothing easy about facing drunk driving charges, particularly after a crash that injures or kills someone. However, receiving legal guidance by hiring an attorney may help people so charged gain clarity about the situation.