A 37-year-old Virginia man pleaded guilty to aggravated involuntary manslaughter in connection with a March 2020 car accident. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of DUI for the same incident.

According to media reports, the man and a 38-year-old male passenger were driving an estimated 116 mph on Route 460 before the crash occurred. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which flipped several times before landing in the middle of the highway. The driver was air-flown to the hospital where he was treated for severe injuries. The passenger was declared dead at the scene of the accident. The death was later determined to have occurred due to blunt force injuries.

After the driver was in stable condition, he was interviewed by the police. He allegedly admitted to having been drinking before driving the vehicle but said he didn’t remember speeding. The airbag control module recorded the speed of the vehicle before the airbags deployed. Blood tests reportedly showed that he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20, which is twice the legal limit in Virginia. Sentencing is set to occur in late 2020. The charges hold a minimum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum of 20 years.

To deter other people from drinking and driving, judges often impose severe sentences on those charged with a DUI. Those accused of a driving under the influence may feel pressured to plead guilty rather than risk lengthy prison time, loss of driving privileges or hefty fines imposed after a trial. A lawyer might be able to help by looking at the facts of the case and advising his or her client of the best route to take. A lawyer may also be able to negotiate a fair sentence should a plea deal occur. This might help an individual avoid a trial and get a fair sentence for the charges.