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Missouri residents may be interested to learn that, on Oct. 27, it was reported that a former Episcopal bishop who killed a bicyclist in a drunk driving crash in Maryland was sentenced to seven years in prison. The accident occurred on Dec. 27, 2014.

Prosecutors stated that the former bishop was driving and texting when she struck a bicyclist. The 41-year-old man was thrown onto the windshield, suffering severe head trauma. She then left the scene of the accident for approximately 30 minutes. Authorities determined that her blood alcohol content was 0.22 percent after the accident. As a result, she was charged with drunk driving, manslaughter and leaving the scene. She pleaded guilty to all three charges in September.

Initially, prosecutors had asked for 10 years in prison, but the judge in the case opted to give a 20-year sentence with 13 of those years suspended. Following the incident, the former bishop resigned. The Episcopal Church also revoked her credentials, meaning she was considered to be a layperson.

People who have been charged with driving while intoxicated could potentially face a jail sentence, expensive fines and lose their job. In order to potentially avoid some of these consequences, a criminal law attorney may review the case to look for potential problems. For example, the authorities may not have done their job correctly. They may have conducted the field sobriety tests improperly or used a breathalyzer that was not calibrated. There may also be inconsistencies in the testimony and police reports. If there is adequate evidence, the attorney can potentially negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the severity of any consequences or associated punishments.

Source: ABC News, "Bishop Who Killed Cyclist While Driving Drunk Gets 7 Years", Juliet Linderman, Oct. 27, 2015

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