An accusation of drunk driving that’s connected to a fatal car accident is a very serious matter. In fact, if convicted of causing death in a DUI-related crash, drivers could face criminal punishments that involve decades spent behind bars. Sadly, this is precisely what happened in the criminal proceedings related to a DUI crash that happened in 2015.
A man from Mountain Lakes was punished with 21 years in prison for causing a fatal drunk driving crash on July 11, 2015. According to court records, the collision resulted in the death of a family of three, including the father, mother, their 18-month-old daughter and an unborn baby in the mother’s womb.
The catastrophic accident happened in Rockaway Township. According to the now 24-year-old driver, who the judge sentenced to prison for 21 years, he was addicted to drugs and alcohol because of his parents’ divorce. In his closing statements, the man apologized to family members of the victims, saying that he didn’t merely hurt three people, but he damaged an entire family. He said that he carelessness resulted in more pain than he’ll be able to repair.
During the sentencing hearing regarding a fatal DUI accident conviction, drivers will be given a chance to air their sentiments and regrets as the driver did in this case. Clearly, no human being wants to hurt another, and although the decision to drive drunk is never wise, no one wants to hurt others like this. Having an opportunity to air one’s regrets and apologies like this is an opportunity to show the court sincere regret and it could help lower one’s final sentencing in some cases. Nevertheless, in this case, the driver’s sentiments clearly did not sway the victims’ family. In a statement to the court and the driver, the sister of the deceased mother said that their family has been destroyed and the 21-year punishment is not enough.
Every person accused of drunk driving will have the opportunity to improve his or her legal situation via a criminal defense. If successfully navigated, such a defense may be able to bring various benefits, such as reduced punishments and, in some cases, getting one’s charges dropped or dismissed.
Source: Daily Record, “Drunken driver gets 21 years for killing couple, child in Rockaway Twp. crash,” Peggy Wright, Dec. 01, 2017