Man Charged with Pinellas County DUI Manslaughter
William Dion McClendon was arrested last week and charged with DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, relating to a fatal January 2012 collision in Pinellas Park. A warrant was issued last May for McClendon but it took 10 months for police to arrest him.
Back in January 2012, an 84-year-old woman was driving west on Gandy Boulevard in a 1996 Lincoln Town Car when she attempted a left turn onto 35th Street N. According to the police report, she drove into the path of the car McClendon was driving. The elderly woman did not survive the resulting collision. McClendon was treated for minor injuries.
Authorities now allege McClendon was driving under the influence of alcohol and had a suspended license at the time of the accident. Investigators reportedly tested a sample of McClendon’s blood for alcohol. The local media did not report the results of that testing. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired at 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol content).
If convicted of DUI manslaughter, McClendon will face up to 15 years in a Florida State correctional institution, in addition to a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted of driving with a suspended license and by careless or negligent operation of the motor vehicle causing the death of another human being, he can be sentenced to a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A sentencing judge could choose run those sentences consecutively (one after another) or concurrently (at the same time).
If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges in the Tampa Bay area, you are well-advised to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you navigate the criminal and administrative implications of a DUI charge and/or conviction.