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Woman, 19, accused of DUI after fatal car accident

A 19-year-old Illinois woman was charged with aggravated DUI on Sept. 11 after she was accused of causing a fatal car accident outside a Cook County church. The crash reportedly occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of West Roosevelt Road in Chicago.

The woman allegedly drank wine and smoked marijuana before getting into her 2005 Nissan Altima. She lost control of the vehicle while traveling nearly 90 mph and collided with a concrete median planter. The caused the vehicle to go airborne and come to a rest on its top. A rear wheel became detached from the vehicle and crashed through the window of the historic Holy Family Catholic Church. A witness reportedly saw the woman driving dangerously while ignoring multiple traffic devices.

An 18-year-old passenger was killed after being ejected from the backseat of the vehicle. A second passenger, an 18-year-old man, suffered severe injuries to his spine though he was expected to survive the incident. Authorities said that, when questioned, the accused woman admitted to drinking wine before getting behind the wheel. Her bail was set at $500,000 on Sept. 13.

The penalties those who were accused of drunk driving may face depends on a variety of factors, including if they have previous DUI convictions or if there were aggravated factors. For example, if a person was accused of DUI after being involved in a fatal accident, he or she could face a prison sentence even if this is his or her first DUI offense. A criminal law attorney could mount a defense against the charges by negotiating with the prosecution or investigating the results from breath, blood or urine tests. If, for example, the tests were not properly conducted, that evidence could be suppressed.

Source: DNA Info, "Tire Flies Through Church Window After Fatal Crash; Driver Charged With DUI", Erica Demarest, Sept. 13, 2017

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