A Harrison County man who was on a work release furlough weekend is facing charges of DUI causing death with reckless disregard after his female passenger was killed in a Sunday morning crash in Sardis. He currently in the North Central Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.
According to the State Division of Correction, Jeffrey Scott Davis, 32, of Wallace, is serving a term of 3 to 28 years in prison for grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, and burglary. The work release furloughs generally are for two nights.
Harrison County Sheriff's deputies tell 12 News that 32-year-old Jeffrey Davis was driving a Chevy Blazer on Gains Hollow Road, heading towards Sardis, just before 3:45 a.m. When his blood alcohol was tested at about 5:45 a.m. it was still at a level of .121. He admitted that he really should not have been driving because he had had six beers prior to getting into the driver's seat.
Deputies said Davis lost control of the vehicle, veered off the road hitting a ditch and flipped the vehicle on its top. Davis' license had been previously revoked, and he is now facing an additional one to ten years in prison and a fine of $3000.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls DUI or DWI the most frequently committed violent crime in America. The evidence is clear that drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in Harrison County and across the state of West Virginia. In fact, West Virginia was recently ranked as the most deadly state, partially because of the high percentage of drug poisonings and motor vehicle accidents which are the two leading causes of unintentional deaths. West Virginia had the highest accidental death rate at 71.5 deaths per 100,000 residents. Drug and alcohol use often leads to fatal collisions resulting in wrongful death and severe injuries on our WV highways.
In West Virginia, any driver over the age of 21 operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater (and .02 for those under 21) is considered to be a drunk driver, regardless of what type of motor vehicle the driver is operating. This means that collisions with DUI can involve cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, buses, semi-trucks, and many other types of vehicles.
What are the penalties for a DUI in West Virginia?
A person found guilty of charges for DUI or DWI in West Virginia can face six months to three years in jail, fines of $100 up to $5,000, and driver's license suspension of 15 days to one year, as well as a required installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in his or her vehicle. Penalties are determined by the results of the DUI and how many DUI offenses the driver had previously.
Wrongful Death Claims Resulting from DUI Accidents
When a fatal accident is caused by another party's wrongful action, certain family members of the victim may seek legal recovery from those who are responsible. This type of lawsuit is referred to as a wrongful death suit. A wrongful death case allows a plaintiff to seek recovery for financial injury. For example, a wrongful death award can help compensate a family who has a lost a breadwinner or major source of support.
A wrongful death insurance claim can also pay for funeral and other unexpected burdens a family faces after the death of a loved one. Wrongful death claims can be complicated, especially when the driver of the car who caused the collision was uninsured. Only an experienced attorney used to sorting out complex insurance issues can find all coverage which may apply.
For more information, see our article: Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in West Virginia
Exponent Telegram, "Man charged with DUI with death was on furlough from prison at time of crash" Matt Harvey, April 27, 2015.
WAJR News: "Police arrest man in connection to fatal vehicle accident near Sardis" Aaron Payne, April 27, 2015.
WBOY News: "Man Arrested and Charged in Fatal Sardis Crash" Marisa Matyola, April 27, 2015.