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Hit-and run-accident involves DUI charges against driver

A Florida man is facing multiple charges in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a 24-year-old pedestrian on Oct. 25 as she was crossing the roadway in St. Petersburg. Police said the driver abandoned his vehicle and was intoxicated at the time of the accident.

The driver has been charged with DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene and driving without a driver's license. According to reports, the Pinellas Park man has a history of previous arrests dating back to 2006 for charges ranging from drunk driving to domestic abuse and drug possession, police said.

The accident happened at about 9 p.m. on 34th Street North when the accused man allegedly struck the pedestrian in his 1997 Oldsmobile. According to a St. Petersburg police representative, the driver was speeding when the accident occurred. The woman hit the vehicle's windshield and landed on the roadway. The man then left his vehicle on 1st Street in the area of Central Avenue. Police later located and took him into custody; he was placed in the county jail on a $212,000 bond.

A driver who is detained on DUI charges in relation to a fatal accident faces significant penalties and possible jail time. Leaving the scene of an accident involving death enhances the consequences. Proof of intoxication at the time of the accident is dependent on timely and accurate testing. Breaking the chain of custody on blood samples might also infringe on the accuracy of the results.

An attorney may review accident details as well as toxicology results and police reports to build a DUI defense. If conflicts are present, the attorney may ask that DUI charges be reduced or dropped.

Source: WFLA.com, "Pinellas Park man arrested on DUI manslaughter charge", October 26, 2014

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