There may only be a one-word difference in the terms DUI and DUI manslaughter, but the legal differences can be vast. While a typical DUI is usually just a misdemeanor, Florida has made DUI manslaughter a second-degree felony with up to a 15-year prison sentence. More recently, the Florida legislature changed the penalty to include a mandatory minimum of a four-year sentence. There is also a mandatory lifetime suspension of driver’s license. The intoxicated driver’s problems do not end with their punitive jail sentence. They will often have to face a civil liability claim as well from the victim’s family.
My Sun Coast reports that alcohol may have been a factor in a crash that killed an elderly Sarasota woman and critically injured her grandson.
The incident happened on Sunday night at the corner of University Parkway and Lockwood Ridge Road in Sarasota. The crash involved four vehicles and claimed the life of 70-year-old Audrey Kramer and seriously injured her grandchild, who was less than one year of age.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, David Buncik ran a traffic signal at University Parkway and hit three vehicles that were turning left onto Lockwood Ridge Road. The 34-year-old ran away from the scene on foot. He was apprehended and returned to the scene.
Buncik is facing numerous charges, one of which is DUI manslaughter. He is also facing charges of leaving the scene with death and serious injury, and several DUI counts that include property damage.
Kramer and her grandson were passengers in the vehicle. The driver suffered from minor injuries. One other driver in the four-car crash was also injured, but the injuries were minor. The driver of the third vehicle and Buncik did not suffer from any injuries.