A Lackawanna County man charged with DUI and homicide by vehicle will apparently be the first person to face trial under the possibility of increased penalties that form a critical part of a statute known as "Kevin's Law." The law is named "Kevin's Law" because it was passed in response to the death of Kevin Miller in 2012, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Wilkes-Barre.
The accident in question occurred on the night of August 30. The father of the victim had taken his son for a drive to buy ice cream. Their car was hit by a vehicle driven by the defendant, who was turning into the parking lot of a bar. The boy died in the hospital a few hours after the accident and his father is still hospitalized. Immediately after the collision, the defendant attempted to flee. He was caught by police a few blocks away.
The defendant has been charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol and involuntary manslaughter. The defendant's blood alcohol concentration was 0.118, which is well in excess of the state legal limit of 0.08. The effect of Kevin's Law will be felt if he is convicted. Before Kevin's Law was passed, the mandatory minimum sentence for leaving the scene of a fatal accident was one year. Now, the minimum is three years.
The charge of driving while intoxicated is serious in itself. In this case, the defendant's troubles are compounded by the boy's death and by the driver's attempt to leave the scene. Seeking the representation of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer would be helpful to anyone who is in a similar predicament.
Source: WNEP, "First Use of 'Kevin's Law' in Lackawanna County DUI Case," Peggy Lee, Oct. 9, 2014