In the event of a drunk-driving collision, investigators at the scene will likely arrest the suspect, unless he or she needs medical treatment. Depending on the severity of the accident and whether other passengers were injured, the alleged drunk driver will face DUI or more serious charges, including manslaughter or homicide.
In addition to criminal charges, defendants and other liable parties could also face civil penalties for negligence. In a recent case, a drunk driver has been found guilty of homicide after killing a motorcyclist in 2011.
A Worcester Superior Court judge sentenced the 37-year-old driver to 12 to 14 years in state prison. The facts of this case were particularly gruesome and tragic, as the driver failed to stop and dragged the body of the 23-year-old victim for nearly a quarter mile. Our Boston drunk driving injury attorneys are committed to providing strategic representation to individuals impacted by DUI injuries. In addition to representing the victims of drunk driving collisions, we are also committed to raising awareness to prevent future tragedies.
According to the Boston Globe, the defendant was a native of Ecuador who was living in the United States illegally. Police statements indicate that in August 2011, the defendant collided with the victim’s motorcycle. The driver was drunk and did not have a driver’s license at the time. After he struck the victim and his motorcycle, he didn’t stop, but dragged the body for a quarter of a mile. His son was in the car when he struck the victim. Initial investigations revealed the defendant was at fault for rolling through a stop sign. According to the defense, the driver did not know that the victim was under his truck, though witnesses tried to stop him from driving.
The defendant was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide while driving negligently and under the influence of alcohol. He was also charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident resulting in death, reckless endangerment of a child as well as other charges. The judge in this case determined that the defendant was not guilty of the more serious charge of second-degree murder. The conviction and sentence means that he will serve a concurrent prison term of 9 to 10 years for the vehicular homicide charge and 10 years of probation for the other offenses.
The victim’s family and other critics asserted that the defendant should be serving life behind bars. During the sentencing hearing in court, the victim’s mother read an impact statement and a television monitor showed a baby picture of her son. The judge offered her condolences in the case, despite the perceived leniency of the penalties handed down.
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More Blog Entries:
NHTSA Urges Ignition Interlock Devices for all Drunk Driving Offenders, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, December 28, 2013
Teens Don’t Fully Understand What it Means to Drive Drunk, April 4, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Injury Lawyer Blog