THE BRONX - Charges were upgraded Wednesday against an off-duty NYPD detective accused of mowing down a Bronx woman in October.

Detective Kevin Spellman is now facing a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide, which carries a possible 25-year prison sentence. Spellman is accused of hitting and killing Drana Nikac, 67, as she was crossing 232nd Street Oct. 30.

Prosecutors say Spellman's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal. They also say he was drinking at a bar before the accident.

Robert Brunetti, Spellman's defense attorney, insists his client tried to help Nikac and wasn't drunk.

Spellman is out on $100,000 bond and is due back in court Jan.15.