DUI charges are never easy to deal with. Expensive and embarrassing, DUI charges may not only result in heavy fines and penalties, but interlock devices, loss of driving privileges, and, in some cases, jail time. The worst case scenario, however, occurs when the choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs results in the injury or death of another person, and vehicular homicide or aggravated drunk driving charges. A Chicago man who was recently involved in an alleged drunk driving accident likely knows this story all too well.

ABC Local reports that 20-year-old Miguel Rico was driving the wrong way on the exit ramp at Eastbound Eisenhower at Harlem when he crashed with another vehicle on Saturday evening, September 7. Mr. Rico’s Dodge minivan entered the exit ramp at around 2:00am, and the oncoming vehicle, driven by 19-year-old Briana Resto, attempted to swerve to avoid it. Ms. Resto could not avoid Mr. Rico’s vehicle, and the two vehicles collided. Ms. Resto and her passenger, 20-year-old Monica Hernandez, we killed in the crash. A third passenger, Brittney Mouzon, was not killed, but was injured. Both Mr. Rico and his passenger survived the crash.

According to CBS Local, Mr. Rico was wanted on a warrant for violating his probation in a 2011 drug possession case. In connection with that charge, a judge ordered Mr. Rico to be held without bond on Sunday. Ultimately, authorities anticipate that Mr. Rico will be charged with aggravated driving under the influence for the tragic accident that left the two young females dead and a third injured. Mr. Rico’s case is still pending.

Aggravated DUI charges can lead to a lengthy prison term as well as very expensive fines and other penalties. Under Illinois law, a person is guilty of aggravated DUI when he or she drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs and there are aggravating factors present, such as when the accident caused by the drunk driver causes permanent disability or disfigurement of another person. Other factors include the fact that the driver was driving a school bus, was previously convicted of a violation, and the driver was driving drunk in a school zone with a posted speed limit of 20 miles per hour. Aggravated drunk driving also applies to the operation of snowmobiles and boats when the death of another person occurs as a result of the drunk operation.

According to the Illinois State Police website, aggravated DUI is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 12 years, mandatory imprisonment of ten days (or 480 hours of community service), a minimum of one-year loss of driving privileges, and a monetary fine of up to $25,000.

Aggravated DUI charges can severely impact a person’s career, social life, and financial stability. If you have been charged with violating DUI laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. A DUI attorney can help you understand the charges against you, and can defend your case in court or negotiate with the prosecutor. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation regarding your DUI charges.