Before a person can be convicted of DUI manslaughter, the prosecution must prove the following three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused individual drove a vehicle or was in actual physical control of a vehicle; and
- While driving a vehicle or while in actual physical control of a vehicle, the accused
a. was under the influence of alcoholic beverages or under the influence of a chemical substance or under the influence of a controlled substance to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired; or
b. the accused had a blood alcohol level or breath alcohol level of 0.08 or higher; and
- As a result, the accused caused or contributed to the cause of the victim’s death.
“Actual physical control of a vehicle” means the accused individual must be physically in or on the vehicle and have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he is actually operating the vehicle at the time.
“Normal faculties” include but are not limited to the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, judge distances, drive an automobile, make judgments, act in emergencies and, in general, to normally perform the many mental and physical acts of our daily lives.
See also manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter.