If a person operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated and negligently causes an accident that results in the death of another person, the operator may be charged with the criminal offense of intoxication manslaughter.
Some states have a broader definition of the criminal offense of intoxication manslaughter and may charge an intoxicated person who negligently causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle, an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride with the crime of intoxication manslaughter. Intoxication manslaughter is a felony offense and may be punished by significant jail or prison time.
Laws vary from state to state, and some states have criminal offenses such as vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide, as provided by the state’s statutes, and may charge an intoxicated person who negligently causes the death of another motorist with such a crime.
Intoxication manslaughter laws are generally located in a state's statutes—often in the penal or criminal code.