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Driving while under the influence and subsequently causing an accident that results in someone's death, even indirectly, can apparently lead to a vehicular homicide charge. CBS New York reports that a Long Island man is currently on trial for just such an incident.

The man was driving home from a night of drinking in New York City and caused an accident on the Long Island Expressway. His blood alcohol content was .13, above the legal limit of .08. A police officer responding to the accident was then struck and killed by a passing SUV as the officer maneuvered through the accident wreckage. Prosecutors are holding the man responsible for the officer's death even though he wasn't even in a car and was standing against the guardrail at the time. He still, however, created the situation that led to the officer being struck and killed, prosecutors argue. The man's defense attorneys are claiming that the driver of the SUV, who was not charged, was responsible for the officer's death, albeit accidentally.

Precedent for such a charge does exist, the New York Post reports. In 2013, a man was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in Nassau County when a motorcyclist was killed after crashing into the man's vehicle, which the man had wrecked while intoxicated.

This case is unique, in that it tests the criminal consequences of drunk driving. If the court finds that the man did cause the officer's death and/or could have foreseen that his actions would result in such a death, the man could face up to 25 years in prison.

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