Ohio Man Makes Video Confession, Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving Death
Recently, an Ohio man made a video confession saying that he was responsible for a drunk driving accident in which he killed another driver. In the short video, which went viral on YouTube, Matthew Cordle admitted that he “made a mistake” when he drove that night. Cordle claimed that he made the video to come clean and face the consequences of his actions.
In the video, Cordle claims that he drove his vehicle after going out for an evening of heavy drinking with friends last June. He recounted the tragic events that happened as he drove down the wrong way of I-670 into oncoming traffic, which caused him to collide with the car driven by 61-year-old Vincent Canzani. As a result of the drunk driving accident, Canzani was killed.
At the accident scene, police discovered that Cordle had a blood alcohol level of .19 percent-more than twice the legal limit. However, they delayed charging Cordle until toxicology results came back. Before charges were brought, Cordle appeared in the YouTube video promising to take responsibility for his actions.
After the video was released, Cordle was arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. Despite his earlier promise in the video, Cordle initially pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, in a subsequent court appearance, he changed his plea to guilty. As a result of his crime, he faces up to eight years in prison.
About aggravated vehicular homicide
In Ohio, aggravated vehicular homicide occurs when a driver of a motor vehicle, plane, watercraft or snowmobile causes the death of someone else as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol, negligently or recklessly.
In other words, under the law, it is not necessary to show that alcohol played a part in the death of the driver in order to be charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. A person can be charged if another driver is killed by his or her reckless driving or negligence in some circumstances. However, if the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, the penalty is enhanced.
The penalty for aggravated vehicular assault is a third-degree felony. However, if alcohol or drugs were involved, the penalties automatically increase to a second-degree felony, which carries fines of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence of up to 8 years. If the driver’s license was suspended at the time of the accident, the penalty is further increased to a first-degree felony-up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
If the prosecution proves that OVI (drunk driving) was the cause of death, the penalties are mandatory and cannot easily be reduced.
Consult an attorney
If you have been charged with OVI, you face serious fines and a significant loss of freedoms. However, you are involved in an alcohol related accident that causes death or serious injuries, the penalties are much higher. It is important to ensure that you have adequate legal representation throughout the process. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of your rights and work to prepare an effective defense on your behalf.