Florida takes the crime of driving under the influence very seriously. Most of the time, a DUI charge is a simple misdemeanor charge. However, there are circumstances that can turn even a first time DUI into a felony in Florida. One of these circumstances is if there are serious injuries in a DUI crash. Another circumstance is if someone is killed in the accident. In Florida, a DUI manslaughter charge is a felony punishable by a minimum of four years in state prison. The guilty driver will also be subject to expensive fines and fees and will lose their driver’s license for at least three years.
The International Business Times reports that a mother has been arrested after a suspected DUI crash killed her 3-year-old daughter.
30-year-old Leslie Joe Zeagler was arrested on April 20th in connection with a fatal February 17th accident.
On the night of February 17th, Zeagler was driving a minivan with her daughter as a passenger when she blacked out allegedly due to intoxication. Her three-year-old daughter was unrestrained at the time of the accident, which occurred when the van struck a palm tree.
The child was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The mother was taken to a hospital for the treatment of minor injuries.
At the time of the crash, Zeagler was allegedly under the influence of several controlled substances.
Zeagler surrendered herself. She is facing charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child, driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license.