A Georgia woman faces a raft of criminal charges including counts of vehicular homicide in the first degree and driving while under the influence of drugs in connection with a May 10 motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of her passenger. The 32-year-old Dalton woman was taken into custody at the scene and transported to the Catoosa County Jail for processing. The fatal accident took place just four days after the woman was arrested in Whitfield County for eluding a police officer who attempted to pull her Jeep Compass SUV over for speeding and reckless driving.
Head-on collision on State Road 3
According to a Georgia State Patrol report, the accident took place on State Road 3 near Ringgold at approximately 12:45 p.m. Troopers say that the woman was proceeding southbound on SR3 when her SUV strayed across the center line and struck an oncoming Nissan Rogue SUV head-on. Rescue workers were quickly dispatched the scene, and they transported the two occupants of the Nissan to a nearby trauma center. They both suffered serious injuries according to media reports. The woman’s 32-year-old male passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police believe marijuana use played a role
During the ensuing investigation, marijuana was discovered in the woman’s SUV. One of the charges against her is possessing less than an ounce of the drug. Troopers determined that she was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident. The woman faces years in prison if she is convicted. The vehicular homicide charge alone carries a sentence of between three and 15 years.
Proving marijuana impairment can be challenging for prosecutors
The science linking blood alcohol concentrations to impairment is well established, but the same cannot be said for THC levels. Habitual cannabis users could be relatively unimpaired with THC levels that would leave casual users of the drug barely able to function, which can make it difficult for prosecutors to prove intoxication in DUI cases involving marijuana. If you are charged with intoxicated driving simply because THC was found in your blood, an experienced criminal defense attorney could seek to have the charges against you dismissed.