When police suspect that a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of an accident, a toxicology sample is taken in order to determine whether those suspicions were correct, and if so, how impaired the driver was at the time. It can take a significant amount of time for those results to get back to officials. For instance, troopers with the Louisiana State Police only recently received back results from a sample taken after a fatal accident that occurred in May, which led to the arrest of the 24-year-old driver for vehicular homicide.
Troopers suspected the man of being drunk when he lost control of his vehicle on May 22 shortly after 9:30 p.m. When the vehicle left the road, it slammed into a culvert and flipped several times. The vehicle finally came to rest on its roof.
The 21-year-old passenger in the front seat was thrown part way out of the vehicle in the impact. The injuries he suffered were fatal. It was discovered that the passenger was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
However, that does not preclude his family from filing a wrongful death claim against the driver who is now facing criminal charges in connection with the fatal accident that took his life. If Louisiana prosecutors secure a conviction on the vehicular homicide charge, proof of it may be used as evidence of negligence in a related civil court proceeding. Proving that the driver was negligent could lead to an award of damages to help defray the financial losses resulting from the death of their loved one.
Source: weeklycitizen.com, “State Troopers arrest man for vehicular homicide“, Dec. 19, 2015