Road murder, what does the law say?

Introduced with l. 41/2003, road homicide is a crime regulated in the new art. 589-bis of the Criminal Code, which provides for three different cases of crime, again attributable to road murder, but of different severity, which in turn correspond to three different sanctions.

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What the penal code says

The other hypotheses

The increase in penalties

What the penal code says

The first thing to keep in mind is that street homicide is a particular case of manslaughter , which occurs every time one of the conducts provided for by art. 589-bis.

There are mainly three conducts, and each of these is subject to a specific sanction.

In general, the law in question punishes anyone who causes the death of a person by fault as a result of the violation of the rules governing road traffic . The penalty in this case is that of imprisonment from 2 to 7 years, already provided for by art. 589 of the penal code.

Then there is a second hypothesis, that is the case in which the death of a person is caused by fault of anyone who drives a motor vehicle in a state of alcoholic intoxication , quantified with a BAC exceeding 1.5 g / l , or in a state of psycho-physical alterations deriving from the intake of narcotic or psychotropic substances. In this case, the sanction is more serious, equal to imprisonment between 8 and 12 years.

Then there is the last sanctioning hypothesis provided for by the law, which concerns the case in which the death of a person is caused by the fault of the driver of a motor vehicle, who is in a state of alcoholic intoxication, quantified through a blood alcohol level between 0.8 and 1.5 g / l . In this case, the penalty is that of imprisonment between 5 and 10 years.

The other hypotheses

Taking a cue from the last reflection of the last paragraph, we recall how the same penalty is provided for in the other cases contemplated by art. 589-bis of the criminal code, namely:

1) to the driver of a motor vehicle who, traveling in an urban center at a speed equal to or greater than twice the permitted speed and in any case not less than 70 km / h, or on extra-urban roads at a speed greater than at least 50 km / h h compared to the maximum allowed, due to fault of the death of a person;

2) to the driver of a motor vehicle who, by crossing an intersection with the red traffic light or driving in the wrong direction, causes the death of a person through fault;

3) to the driver of a motor vehicle who, following a reversal of the direction of travel near or at intersections, curves or bumps or following overtaking of another vehicle at a pedestrian crossing or a continuous line , culpably causing the death of a person.

The increase in penalties

Without prejudice to what was stated in the last paragraph, extrapolated from the text of the law, note that art. 589-bis also provides that in the three cases mentioned above the penalty is increased if the offense is committed by a person who does not have a driving license or if his driving license has been suspended or revoked, or if the motor vehicle is owned by the perpetrator and does not have compulsory insurance.

In the cases referred to above, if the event is not the exclusive consequence of the action or omission of the guilty party, then the legislator has provided that the penalty is reduced by up to half .

Finally, again in the hypotheses briefly summarized above, the rule concludes by emphasizing that if the driver causes the death of several people, or the death of one or more people and injuries to one or more people, the penalty that otherwise would have been due is applied. to inflict for the most serious of the violations committed, increased up to three times, up to the limit of eighteen years.


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