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Is vehicular homicide the most serious DUI charge I can face?

There are a number of possible permutations of drunken driving charges in Colorado. They include DUI (driving under the influence) and DUI per se (a DUI in which the arresting officer believes he has scientific proof from a blood or breath test that a driver was under the influence). There is also DWAI (driving while ability impaired) and DUID (driving under the influence of drugs).

All of them present difficult legal challenges and raise the possibility that, if convicted, a person will face harsh punishment. An even more serious charge is vehicular homicide. It's not actually a DUI charge at all, but it's often the case that a person accused of vehicular homicide is also accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both.

However, sometimes vehicular homicide charges are filed against someone accused as well of reckless driving, distracted driving, speeding and the like.

You might have read recently in the news that an Arvada man has been charged with vehicular homicide after a head-on crash, as well as DUI. A teenage passenger in the other vehicle died in the accident on Wadsworth Blvd.

He also faces vehicular assault charges; the teenaged driver of the other vehicle was injured in the crash.

A vehicular homicide charge with a DUI involved is a Class 3 felony.

The man in the Arvada accident is also accused of vehicular homicide in combination with reckless driving: a Class 4 felony.

Conviction could mean years in prison.  

In similar cases, suspects should decline to speak with law enforcement officers or prosecutors until they have had an opportunity to talk with a criminal defense attorney experienced in these serious legal matters.

Source: CBS Denver, "Man Accused In Crash That Killed Teen In Arvada Formally Charged," Oct. 8, 2014

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