A man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving following a fatal pedestrian accident in Mandeville, a Louisiana city not far from New Orleans. Although the man was charged with a first DWI, because of the pedestrian’s death, the man also faces a negligent homicide charge. Together, these charges could land the driver in jail for a substantial period of time and could also mean fines, strict probation and a lengthy license suspension.

According to police, the victim was also apparently under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. He was lying in the middle of the road when the driver hit him, killing him even before he could be taken to the hospital. The accident happened in the middle of the night.

Although blood test results are pending for both the accident victim and the driver, the driver was given a breath test after the accident. According to police, the breath test showed a BAC of .085, just above Louisiana’s legal limit.

While no one condones drunk driving, it is important to remember several things about this case. For one, it is quite possible that anyone would have struck a pedestrian lying in the road in the middle of the night. Two, in addition to the fact that breath tests are not perfect and can give a wrong result, people need to remember in this case that the breath test measured BAC at the time of the test, not necessarily at the time the person was driving the car and had the accident.

Albeit a first DWI, the suspect in this case faces serious and possible life-altering charges in a case where there are lots of open questions. The man may want to mount a strong and zealous defense to these charges.

Source: Fox 8, “Pedestrian hit and killed in Mandeville, driver arrested,” May 6, 2017