Halloween is generally a night of fun for kids and their families. It is a time when kids stay out after dark and try to collect as much candy as possible. Unfortunately, Halloween can be dangerous, especially when people are drinking and driving around children.
Drunk Driver Hit Trick-or-Treater in Tacoma
A Washington man hit a 7-year-old boy who was trick-or-treating in a Tacoma neighborhood around 7:30 on Halloween night. The boy was walking hand-in-hand with his father as they crossed the street when he was struck by the SUV driven by Kasey Ryan Gunnarson. The father was brushed by the SUV, uninjured, but the boy was sent flying into the air. The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition. He suffered from a fractured skull, missing teeth, and bruises all over his body.
The driver tried to flee the scene but was held by several witnesses until police arrived and took him into custody. One woman stood in front of the SUV to keep Gunnarson from leaving the scene. Gunnarson revved his engine and bumped the woman with his vehicle, but she did not move. Another witness, who was armed, held Gunnarson at gun point until police arrived after he tried to flee his vehicle and the scene.
According to court documents, Gunnarson told officers that he had been drinking and smoked marijuana after work. One officer noted that Gunnarson's speech was slurred and he had difficulty talking. Gunnarson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and has since been charged with vehicular assault. His bail has been set at $20,000.
Washington Vehicular Assault
In Washington, a person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she causes substantial bodily harm while driving or operating any vehicle:
- In a reckless manner;
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug; or
- With disregard for the safety of others.
Substantial bodily harm is defined as any bodily injury that involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement, or which causes a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part or organ, or which causes a fracture of any bodily part.
Vehicular assault is a class B felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Washington DUI Attorney
Regardless of the circumstances, anyone facing charges of driving under the influence has the right to a quality legal defense. If you have been arrested in Washington State, suspected of DUI, call Coleen St. Clair at St. Clair Law Offices (206) 578-2200 or contact her online.