Drunk driving car accidents can have fatal consequences for others on the roads or sidewalks, as well as the driver and passengers in the car.
According to a recent news article from ABC 40, a Springfield, Massachusetts man is expected to plead guilty next month to a fatal alcohol-related car crash. Prosecutors are reporting defendant was driving drunk last December when he hit a pickup truck.
The 71-year-old driver was killed in the car crash, as was the three-year-old daughter of defendant, who was in his car at the time of the accident.
Witnesses say that defendant was driving his car around 3:30 in the afternoon with his daughter and his nephew. Defendant hit a guardrail and lost control of the vehicle and it crossed into the lane of oncoming traffic, where it collided with the pickup truck.
Both defendant’s daughter and the pickup driver were pronounced dead at a local hospital. Defendant’s nephew and the pickup truck driver’s wife were also taken to the hospital following the alcohol-related car accident. Authorities are also reporting that the young girl who died in the crash was not in her car seat at the time of the crash, or, if she was, she was not properly secured in the seat.
Defendant, who initially appeared in court in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace, allegedly told police that he drank six or seven beers in a 90-minute period at his nephew’s house before getting behind the wheel. He also told police that the reason he hit the guardrail was because he accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brakes. He did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the deadly car crash.
As our Boston attorneys who represent people injured in alcohol-related car crashes understand, it can take a lot less than six or seven beers drunk in a 90-minute period to cause a fatal accident. One of the ways we can estimate the blood alcohol content is by using a variation of what is known as the Widmark Formula to determine the Estimated Blood Ethanol Concentration (EBAC). Ethanol is the chemical name for the alcohol in beverages.
In order to ascertain defendant’s EBAC, we take the constant for water levels in human blood, which is 80.6 percent on average, and enter it into a formula that takes into account the number of standard drinks consumed, the average metabolic rate, and the weight of the drinker.
The reason car accident attorneys will use the Widmark formula is because if we know the EBAC number of a defendant, we can compare that number to a chart that shows how the human body is affected at various levels.
Based on this formula, a man of average weight that drank seven beers in a hour and a half would have a BAC of over .10. This would mean that the person would likely have slow reflexes, slow reaction time, loss of gross motor control, slurred speech, and would be staggering when walking. It is easy to see how somebody could not safely drive a car in this condition and would be negligent.
If you are injured in an accident in Boston, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment: 1-888-367-2900.
Man Accused in Deadly Drunk Driving Crash Expected to Change Plea, October 17, 2014, ABC 40
More Blog Entries:
Estate of Edmund M. Carman v. Tinkes: On Motions for Summary Judgment, August 14, 2014, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog