An Atlanta man was sentenced this week to 25 years in prison after being convicted of causing a fatal car accident when he was driving under the influence of alcohol. The DUI crash occurred in 2006 when the man hit a taxi with his car. The car crash killed a passenger in the taxi and critically injured that passenger's boyfriend by blinding him. The driver was also critically injured and left with permanent damage to his brain.
The man who caused the crash faced serious DUI charges. He could be charged with DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol, and those charges can increase to felony DUI if the driver causes a car accident that seriously injures someone. If someone dies in a crash caused by a driver suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, there can also be vehicular homicide charges. In this case, the seriousness of the charges was also compounded by the fact that the man had previously been convicted of DUI four times.
The sentence was handed down in the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. Before sentencing, both the convicted man and his family spoke, and the family of the car accident victims also spoke. The man's family said that he had struggled with alcoholism and bipolar disorder throughout his life. They asked the judge to consider this in his sentencing.
The man expressed regret at the accident and apologized to the families for the accident. The mother of the woman who died in the crash asked for the maximum sentence. The judge sentenced the man to 25 years, which is not the maximum, but will have him in prison for a large part of his life.
Source: wsbtv.com, "Attorney accepts fault in fatal DUI crash," Sept. 13, 2011