An Edwardsville man apparently suffering from drug addiction was charged on Tuesday, March 19 with a DUI causing death after he allegedly drove a vehicle into a neighbor's house. Illinois law enforcement says that forensics tests showed elements of cocaine, marijuana, alprazolam, and more than 0.08 percent alcohol in the man's bloodstream. While not solely a drug crime, the charge was counted four times, one for each of the substances found in the man's blood.
The man has a history of drug-related charges, including drug possession. At the time of the arrest, he was on probation pending the investigation of a series of air conditioner thefts he was believed to have committed. Combined with these new charges, a conviction could result in sentence of up to seven years behind bars.
Edwardsville deputies on the scene were told the suspect took the keys to an SUV from a family member, and shortly after, police received a call that a vehicle had crashed into a house in the area. The home's only resident was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. The man was arrested less than an hour later.
He apparently indicated to authorities that his actions are motivated by an ongoing heroin addiction. For individuals struggling with drug addiction, allegations of wrongdoing sometimes appear to go hand in hand with their illness. In the case of drug crime defense, one possible approach is a plea bargain in which sentencing may be less severe, particularly if combined with court-mandated drug rehabilitation. Of course, there is a substantial difference between being accused of a crime and being convicted for one, and this individual will have every opportunity to contest the charges and seek the optimal result.
Source: The Telegraph, "Tests show multiple drugs in fatal-crash suspect," Sanford J. Schmidt, March 19, 2013