A man in Leesburg is facing serious charges following an accident that resulted in the death of a 27-year-old woman. The Florida man, identified as a 33-year-old resident of Lady Lake, was arrested on Jan. 20 in connection with the accident that occurred on June 14 of last year. He now faces DUI manslaughter charges as well as vehicular homicide. There is no word as to whether the man has retained criminal defense counsel at this time.
According to the police report, it appears the man got involved in an argument with the victim outside of a bar in Leesburg. Witnesses have attested that the man got into his pickup truck and attempted to drive away at high speed while the woman was attempting to enter the vehicle. He reportedly drove off with the woman still hanging on to the door. This incident was witnessed around 12:30 a.m., but officers did not process the accused man until several hours later.
He was subjected to a blood sample around 4:17 a.m., which officers say did not indicate he was intoxicated. However, the arrest affidavit said state troopers believed him to be drunk at the time of the accident, some three and a half hours earlier. They estimate the man’s blood alcohol level at 0.13, well above the legal limit of 0.08. Regardless, most witnesses on the scene said they believed the death was an accident.
It is sometimes complicated to process a DUI charge because alcohol affects individuals differently; furthermore, time delays between an arrest and a breath or blood sample can influence the blood alcohol level in a suspected person. In this case, it will be the burden of Florida prosecutors to prove beyond reasonable doubt the man was drunk at the time of the tragic accident. His defense attorney will likely bring up the time delay, which may call into question the man’s allegedly drunken state. This could result in the charges being lowered or the case being thrown out altogether.