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DUI Car Accident: The Penalty Often Doesn’t Fit the Crime

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Friday, August 24, 2012

A St. Louis-area drunk driver recently was given a light sentence compared to the family who has to endure the life sentence of the loss of their loved one. In this DUI car accident, a well-known high school teacher was killed and her son suffered severe injuries when the car they were in was hit by a drunk driver who crossed the center line and crashed into their vehicle.

The man who was driving drunk had a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent two hours after the crash, indicating that he was extremely drunk at the time he crashed into the other vehicle. He was only sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation for charges of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault. The man could be released after just nine and a half months if he behaves well enough in prison. He will have to wear an alcohol monitoring device for just one year.

The judge has defended his decision by saying that he read letters from both the victims’ and the drunk driver’s family and friends. He says that the sentence was difficult to make, but feels that the crash has hurt both the family of the victims and of the drunk driver.

Needless to say, the prosecutor, who had requested the man be sentenced to the maximum of seven years on each charge, was not happy with the judge’s verdict. The family and friends of the victims are outraged. A neighbor said that the community should be able to learn from such a tragedy, but may find it difficult to do so given the extremely light sentence that was handed down to the man.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Chesterfield man gets 1 year in jail for killing teacher in drunken driving crash,” Joel Currier, Aug. 18, 2012
At our law firm, we handle cases where our client was injured in a car accident. To learn more, please visit our St. Louis car accidents page.

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