Driver in Fatal Christmas Eve Crash Intoxicated by Alcohol, Marijuana

Columbus Drunk Driving Lawyer

On March 13, WBNS-TV reported that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said it determined the at-fault driver in a fatal Christmas Eve crash on Interstate 270 (I-270) was intoxicated on multiple substances. The crash occurred on I-270 at U.S. Route 62 on December 24 around 3:30 p.m. when an eastbound black 2000 Ford Explorer lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median into the westbound lanes of I-270, and was struck by a Honda Civic.

Tests showed the 38-year-old driver of the Explorer pronounced dead at the scene was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. The 39-year-old driver and a 41-year-old front passenger of the Civic also died at the scene, and an 8-year-old rear passenger died at Nationwide Children’s Hospital on Christmas Day.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the driver of the Explorer had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.20—more than twice the legal limit. The sheriff’s office told WBNS that no criminal charges could be filed due to the fact that the Explorer driver was killed in the crash.

Columbus Drugged Driving Attorney

Drugged driving (commonly referred to as DUID) offenses in Ohio can be much more complex than traditional OVI crimes involving alleged offenders who are under the influence of alcohol. Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19(A)(1)(j) states that an alleged offender can be charged with OVI if he or she operates any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley within Ohio, if, at the time of the operation, he or she has a concentration of any of the following controlled substances or metabolites of a controlled substance in his or her whole blood, blood serum or plasma, or urine that equals or exceeds any of the following:

  • Urine concentration of at least 500 ng/ml of amphetamine or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 100 ng/ml of amphetamine;
  • Urine concentration of at least 150 ng/ml of cocaine or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 50 ng/ml of cocaine;
  • Urine concentration of at least 150 ng/ml of cocaine metabolite or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 50 ng/ml of cocaine metabolite;
  • Urine concentration of at least 2,000 ng/ml of heroin or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 50 ng/ml of heroin;
  • Urine concentration of at least 10 ng/ml of heroin metabolite (6-monoacetyl morphine) or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 10 ng/ml of heroin metabolite (6-monoacetyl morphine);
  • Urine concentration of at least 25 ng/ml of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 10 ng/ml of LSD;
  • Urine concentration of at least 10 ng/ml of marijuana (referred to in the Ohio Revised Code as “marihuana”) or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 2 ng/ml of marijuana;
  • Either the alleged offender is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them, and, as measured by gas chromatography mass spectrometry, the alleged offender has a urine concentration of at least 15 ng/ml of marijuana metabolite or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 5 ng/ml of marijuana metabolite; or as measured by gas chromatography mass spectrometry, the alleged offender has a urine concentration of at least 35 ng/ml of marijuana metabolite or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 50 ng/ml of marijuana metabolite;
  • Urine concentration of at least 500 ng/ml of methamphetamine or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 100 ng/ml of methamphetamine; or
  • Urine concentration of at least 25 ng/ml of phencyclidine (PCP) or whole blood or blood serum or plasma concentration of at least 10 ng/ml of PCP.

Much like alcohol-based OVI offenses, drugged driving crimes are usually first-degree misdemeanors. Had the driver of the Explorer survived this crash, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office could have filed felony aggravated vehicular homicide charges.

If you were arrested for allegedly being under the influence of any controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle in Franklin County, it is in your best interest to immediately contact [[$firm]]. Columbus criminal defense lawyer Brian Joslyn understands that having a controlled substance in one’s system does not necessarily mean that person was under the influence of an illegal drug at the time of an alleged offense, and he fights to help clients achieve the most favorable outcomes to these cases that result in the fewest possible penalties.