When teens first learn to drive it can be an exciting time. Picking out a new car, having freedom, and learning responsibility are all milestones in an American teenager’s life. However, when teens violate DWI laws, they may change the course of their lives forever. Often driving with friends, teens may not only face DWI charges, but may have to wake up to the harsh reality of injuring or killing a passenger. That was the case with week for a New York teenager.
The Republic reports that 18-year-old Taylor Clause, of Lewiston, New York, was arrested on Tuesday in relation to an accident earlier this spring. Ms. Clause had been in the hospital, in critical condition, but now faces second-degree vehicular manslaughter and second-degree vehicular assault charges. On May 19, around 6:00 a.m., Ms. Clause crashed her 2009 Mazda into a utility pole after running off the road. The vehicle rolled several times, and a passenger, Jasmin Dubuc, was killed. In addition to the 19-year-old victim, another passenger was injured. According to police, Ms. Clause’s blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit of 0.8 percent.
While reports have yet to release information about Ms. Clause’s court dates, or whether she has an attorney, a story from last year sheds interesting light into teen manslaughter charges. The Huffington Post reported last year that a district court judge in Oklahoma passed down an interesting sentence on a 17-year-old boy who had been convicted of DWI/DUI manslaughter.
17-year-old Tyler Alred had been driving a pickup truck in the early morning of December 4, 2011, with passenger and friend, 16-year-old John Dum. Mr. Alred hit a tree with the vehicle, and Mr. Dum was killed at the scene of the accident. After being convicted of the manslaughter charges, Mr. Alred was sentenced by Judge Mike Normal to attend 10 years of church service, in lieu of spending any time in prison. The church requirement was one condition Mr. Alred’s deferred sentence, which also required that he finish high school and attend and complete a school for welding.
While the sentence may seem unorthodox, both Mr. Alred’s attorney and Mr. Dum’s family agreed to it, and were reported to be satisfied. However, individuals and groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have questioned the sentence’s constitutionality. In any event, Mr. Alred’s case demonstrates the outcome of one teen DWI manslaughter case, and the concern the community, court and families have for both the driver and the victim.
If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. A DWI attorney can review your case and may be able to defend the charges against you. Call the experienced DWI attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today at 1-866-792-7800 for a confidential consultation.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: (315) 473-0899. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.