A fatal car crash in New York illustrates how a person may commit a criminal act without being a criminal.

Recently, a driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter, according to NYup.com, after police learned that his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was 0.12 percent at the time of the crash that caused the death of his passenger. The crash in Herkimer County appeared to be almost solely caused by impaired driving and speeding.

Where an individual has an alcohol or substance abuse problem that has resulted in a tragic event, such as the one described above, treatment and recovery through a state-approved program may be the best path toward prevention. According to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), programs are available that assist persons who have been convicted of impaired driving. Services included information and procedures related to relicensing, treatment, and recovery. The first step toward recovery, according to OASAS, is recognition of substance abuse problem.

Vehicular manslaughter is a statutory offense in New York and a specific intent crime. This means that an individual does not have to possess a criminal mind to be convicted of an offense. State programs in New York are designed to aid in prevention of future accidents. The effort to help persons who have been convicted of impaired driving offenses, like vehicular manslaughter, should not be construed as overlooking the seriousness of the crime. Rather, the goal of these programs in New York is to make the public safer through treatment, recovery, and prevention.