A 20-year-old Georgia man stands accused of being intoxicated when he caused a collision April 6 with another vehicle that left the other driver dead and his own passenger critically injured. According to The Philadelphia Enquirer, Gabriel Sanchez, of Rocky Face, Ga., rear-ended a vehicle driven by Aaron Carbajal, age 25, while traveling south on I-95. Following the collision, Carbajal’s vehicle struck a barrier, whereas Sanchez’s vehicle stopped in the middle lane. Carbajal, a resident of Philadelphia, died at the scene of the accident. Meanwhile, an unrestrained passenger in Sanchez’s vehicle was critically injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. Sanchez also was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, but apparently was not injured. Law enforcement officers reported that Sanchez appeared to be intoxicated, and, as a result, will face charges stemming from the accident.
While this story does not indicate how police officers arrived at the conclusion that Sanchez was intoxicated, there are several indicators that police can go by in determining a driver’s intoxication level, especially following an accident. Some of the initial indicators that a police officer might observe to support a suspicion of intoxication may include:
- Slurred speech
- Red, irritated eyes
- Instability or difficulty walking
- Smell of alcohol
- Inability to focus vision
Police officers also may administer standardized field sobriety tests to further assess a driver for intoxication. These tests may involve requiring the driver to walk a straight line, recite the alphabet, etc., in order to measure the driver’s dexterity and state of mind. Once an officer has determined that a driver may be intoxicated, he or she typically will attempt to confirm the degree of intoxication through more precise measurements, such as by administering breathalyzer tests or transporting the driver to a medical facility for blood testing. A breathalyzer test and a blood test are both ways to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) of an individual at any given point in time. Based on the person’s BAC test results, the person may be found guilty of having committed DUI; anyone who drives with a BAC of .08% or greater violates state DUI laws.
In this particular case, additional criminal charges are likely, due to the fact that the accident killed the driver of the other vehicle that Sanchez struck. As a result, Sanchez may face more severe penalties, including a prison sentence, if he is found guilty of these Pennsylvania DUI-related charges.
At The Law Office of Steven E. Kellis, we know how serious the consequences of a DUI conviction can be, especially when the DUI has resulted in an accident causing injuries and/or a loss of life. Having the assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania DUI lawyer can be critical to minimizing the potential penalties in the case of a conviction and perhaps avoiding these penalties altogether. Contact Steven E. Kellis today for an evaluation of your DUI case, and discover what options may be available to you.