An ap report out of Charleston, West Virginia on July 21, 2022, indicates that a man has been charged with a felony in connection with a drunk driving wreck that resulted in the death of an unborn child. Often, we hear of people getting charged with and convicted of a double homicide when the victim is a pregnant woman because the offender is being punished for ending the life of the mother as well as the unborn child. It seems much less often that an expecting mother is injured by someone committing a criminal act resulting in the death of the unborn child. In West Virginia the penalty for a DUI resulting in an injury to someone other than the intoxicated driver is no less than a day in jail and no more than a year, making it a misdemeanor offense. For an offense to be considered a felony it must carry a possible sentence of more than a year in prison. The penalty for a DUI resulting in the death of another in west Virginia is a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of ten, making it a felony. DUI resulting in a death is the charge being pursued against this West Virginia man for the death of the unborn child, not the DUI resulting in injury to the mother.
What Are Mississippi’s DUI Penalties for Injury or Death Laws?
Mississippi’s DUI laws are much more aggressive than the West Virginia laws. We should first look to the Mississippi code to determine what “driving under the influence” really means. The statute makes clear that in Mississippi it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, under the influence of any other substance that has impaired the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, under the influence of any controlled substance, or has a blood alcohol or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 and above. Note that there are no exceptions for legal prescriptions in the driver’s name and that driver may still be found to be under the influence of their legal prescription even if they have a bac of below 0.08. According to the Mississippi code, any person driving under the influence that negligently causes a serious injury or death to another may be sentenced to prison for a minimum of five years and a maximum of twenty-five years for each person injured or killed. Since this drunk driving accident resulted in the death of the unborn child and serious injury to the mother, under Mississippi law, he could be facing fifty years in prison.