Have you been arrested for driving the wrong way on a highway? If so, chances are it occurred either at night or on the weekend and you were probably driving in the lane closest to the median. And, chances are, you were charged with DUI.
According to a special investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), over 60% of drivers involved in wrong-way accidents are found to be impaired. By comparison, alcohol is involved in about a third of fatal highway accidents overall.
Unfortunately, wrong-way driving crashes tend to be serious, often with fatalities. If you were involved in an accident with a death or injuries, it could dramatically increase the seriousness of your charges.
For example, if you were allegedly intoxicated and seriously injured another person, you might be charged with vehicular assault, which is a Class D felony in Tennessee. That could mean a sentence of between 2 and 12 years in jail, plus fines, court costs, towing, and other fees and a license revocation of between 1 and 5 years.
If your alleged drunk driving caused a fatal accident, you could be charged with vehicular homicide, which is even more serious. A Class B felony, it is punishable by between 8 and 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000, along with court costs, towing, other expenses and a license revocation of between 3 and 10 years. No restricted license is available during the revocation period.
If you have been convicted twice in the past of DUI or vehicular assault or once in the past of vehicular homicide and you injure someone due to drunk driving, you could be charged with aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated. This is a Class C felony carrying penalties of between 3 and 15 years and a fine up to $10,000.
You can also be charged with aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated if you had a blood-alcohol content of 0.20% or greater and had been convicted of DUI or vehicular assault in the past.
Wrong-way driving is dangerous and may result in a DUI charge. If this has happened to you, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.