Felony OWI case headed for jury trial this month

The penalties for a drunk driving arrest can be severe. Jail time, probation, fines and damage to a reputation are all possible consequences for driving under the influence of alcohol.Felony drunk driving carries even more serious penalties. A jury trial is set to begin in Washtenaw County Trial Court on July 9 for one man who faces charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.According to reports, the man allegedly hit another man in an accident on Aug. 4 of last year. The man told police that he had dropped his cell phone and was reaching for it at the time he allegedly hit the victim. He thought that he had struck a deer and continued on to his residence. When he returned to the scene of the accident, he found the victim in the ditch. The victim is said to have died immediately after the accident.Reports indicate that the accused had a blood alcohol level of 0.12, which is above the .08 legal limit.The charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death is a felony in Michigan. The penalties can include a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.The defendant in this case is currently free on bond while the case is ongoing. It is not yet clear what the defense team's strategy will be at trial, but an earlier motion to suppress the evidence of the blood alcohol content level was denied.If the facts of this story are taken at face value, this incident appears to be a tragic accident. As this case goes to trial, it will be up to a jury to determine the man's fate.Source: AnnArbor.com, "Man accused of drunken driving in death of Gary Lillie returns to court next week," Kyle Feldscher, June 23, 2012
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