As a Birmingham, Alabama, drunk driving lawyer, I have defended many clients charged with a DUI-related fatality. Because everyone deserves a proper defense under the law, I am ready to act in these individual's best interests. At the same time, I must question some driver's decision-making abilities whenever they mix alcohol and automobiles.
If there is one thing I always tell friends and neighbors alike, when it comes to drunk driving and other DUI violations, please don't make things worse on yourself by pulling another person in on your mistake. Sure, other grownups are fully able to decide for themselves if they want to ride with someone who is obviously intoxicated, but a youngster, that's pushing the limits of personal responsibility.
Here in Birmingham, and across Alabama, my lawfirm represents numerous clients who have been charged with a wide range of drunk driving offenses, not to mention driving under the influence of prescription or illegal drugs. Some of these folks are out-of-towners who got caught up in the moment and were pulled over by an Alabama state patrolman or municipal law enforcement office. A recent news story points up the tragedy of driving drunk with a minor child in the car, or in this case on ON THE CAR!
According to news reports, a man traveling through DeKalb County was recently taken into custody by Fort Payne police and is awaiting extradition to Whitley County, Kentucky, where he will be tried for a drunk driving fatality in early July. James Harold Jones, of Fort Payne, AL, faces charges of reckless homicide and driving on a DUI suspended license in that state.
The incident that triggered Jones' arrest occurred on July 4 when the man's 13-year-old niece, who was reportedly riding on the trunk of his vehicle, fell off the car and hit her head on the pavement. Hailee Martin was taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment of head trauma. A few days later she died from injuries sustained in the accident.
Almost a month later, Fort Payne police contacted the Kentucky State Police after verifying that Jones was, in fact, the man listed on the National Crime Information Center database. He was arrested without incident here in Alabama.
It goes without saying that anyone arrested for or charged with DUI, driving under the influence of drugs, or breath test refusal should immediately contact an experienced drunk driving attorney to better understand his or her rights. Remember, drunk driving convictions can be damaging to your future, so don't take chances with yours.
Uncle arrested for death of teen, TheTimesTribune.com, August 6, 2009