Tara Fradley, 18, of Boca Raton was arrested for DUI manslaughter in Broward County on Monday at the conclusion of an investigation into a deadly June crash in Boynton Beach, Florida. On June 10, Fradley’s Ford Explorer collided with Ann Prushanky’s Honda Accord on the northbound I-95 off-ramp at Boynton Beach Boulevard. Pushanky, who was 70, died at the scene. Four other nearby cars sustained minor damage in the massive accident. At the time of the accident, Fradley was under the influence of several substances. During the five month probe, investigators determined that she had alcohol, the prescription anti-anxiety drug Xanax, and possibly the over-the-counter allergy medication Benadryl in her system. Her blood alcohol content was 0.07 at the time of the accident. Although she was only 17 at the time of the fatal wreck, the state attorney has charged Fradley as an adult. As of Wednesday, Fradley was being held in the Broward County jail with bond set at $10,000.
The chief of the traffic homicide unit at the Broward County Office of the State Attorney, Ellen Roberts, commented that DUI accidents involving Xanax have risen dramatically in the past few years. According to Roberts, DUI arrests in south Florida involving Xanax far exceed those for cocaine. Prescription drug DUIs are perhaps less well-known than drunk driving DUIs, but the crime is the same. Xanax is a popular anti-anxiety medication that is sometimes taken recreationally and has the potential for abuse and even dependence.
DUI manslaughter is a serious criminal offense in Florida. The driver must either actually be impaired or have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher and cause a death due to impaired operation of a motor vehicle. In Florida, DUI manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine, in addition to administrative penalties such as permanent license revocation. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can revoke the license of a person arrested and convicted of DUI manslaughter permanently, even if he does not have any prior DUI-related convictions. However, it is possible to get a hardship license five years following revocation or completion of the prison sentence.
Nationally, DUI-related deaths have been dropping. Thirty-two states saw decreases in the last year, including Florida. Nonetheless, the National Highway Safety Administration reported that about there were about 13,000 alcohol-relate driving deaths in 2007, down about 500 from the previous year. DUI-related deaths among those driving motorcycles increased, although the overall numbers went down.
A DUI arrest can derail your life. DUI and DUI manslaughter are serious crimes. If you have been charged with DUI in Florida, contact William Moore Criminal Defense, P.A., which has experienced south Florida DUI lawyers with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.
Boca teen arrested for manslaughter in DUI fatality, South Florida Sun Sentinel, November 25, 2008