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Massachusetts Woman Sentenced to Jail for Alcohol-Related Car Crash

Our Boston drunk driving accident lawyers know that an alcohol-related car accident can result in serious injury or death.

prison-1431136-m.jpgThe Boston Globe is reporting that Bridgewater woman has been sentenced to two and half years in prison in connection with a fatal drunk driving accident that occurred in Norfolk County Massachusetts in 2011.

The driver was charged with operating under the influence (OUI), which is the term for a DUI in Massachusetts General Laws, homicide while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor of drugs, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and other related serious traffic offenses.

Accord to court documents, the driver was operating her motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol when she crashed her car into another vehicle. Two people were seriously injured and another victim was killed in the tragic crash.

Under the terms of the sentence, the defendant is to serve one year behind bars and the remaining 1.5 years will be suspended. This means, if she violates her probation after serving the first year, the judge can impose the remaining year and a half of her sentence.

Under Massachusetts law, a person sentenced to 2.5 or less does not have to go to a Massachusetts Correctional Institution (MCI) – what we normally think of as state prison. Instead, her sentence will likely be carried out the Norfolk County House Jail located in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Victims or their families should contact a Boston drunk driving accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the facts of a specific case. There may be a possibility of not only recovering from the drunk driver or their insurance company, but also from the person whose business served the defendant to the point of intoxication knowing that they intended to get behind the wheel of a car in that condition.

This area of drunk driving accident law is known as dram shop or social host liability. Under this theory of liability, a person who is serving alcohol has a duty to protect other persons with whom the drinker may come into contact while intoxicated. For example, a bartender could be held liable for serving a person to the point of intoxication if he or she knows or should have known that person is driving himself or herself home at the end of the night.

At first, it may seem unfair to hold a bartender responsible for the actions of a drunken customer he doesn’t know. The logic behind this type of liability is that, if the bartender knows that the drunken customer is planning on driving, it is predictable that the person will cause an accident, because it is well known that alcohol impairs one’s ability to drive. The bartender is also the person with the best chance of preventing an accident by cutting off the customer before they get to the point of intoxication. It is for that reason that the bartender, and, more importantly for the victim, the bar owner, may be held liable for any injuries caused.

If you have been injured in a Boston drunk driving accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Woman sentenced in connection with fatal 2011 drunk driving accident, July 17, 2014 Boston Globe
More Blog Entries:

Stafford v. Roadway – Social Host Liability Weighed, July 1, 2014, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog