On Sept. 18, an Illinois judge sentenced a 26-year-old man to eight years in prison for his role in a January 2013 traffic accident that claimed the life of a Madison County resident. The 26-year-old man had entered a guilty plea to a felony count of aggravated DUI causing death on July 2 as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors had initially charged the man with five felony offenses, authorities reported.
The auto accident took place on Saturn Drive in Godfrey. According to an accident report, the 26-year-old man’s blood alcohol content level exceeded the Illinois legal limit of .08 percent at the time of the accident. Purportedly, he was driving an SUV when he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a residence.
A 73-year-old man was killed while sitting in a chair in his living room. Authorities claim that the 26-year-old driver fled the accident scene on foot. Deputies from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department subsequently located the man near an area bar and took him into custody.
The man was charged with driving under the influence after the results of a chemical sobriety test established his blood alcohol content level. According to authorities, the man’s driving record indicates that he had been convicted of DUI on two prior occasions. Prosecutors said that the man will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he becomes eligible for release.
A plea agreement like the one in this case does not preclude the defendant from possibly facing civil action in connection with the same fatal incident. For, criminal proceedings are adjudicated independently from civil cases, and certain family members of people who die as a result of DUI accidents may be entitled to restitution through a wrongful death lawsuit. By retaining a lawyer and filing suit, bereaved family members may seek financial compensation for the pecuniary losses they suffered as a result of their loved one’s sudden death.
Source: thetelegraph.com, Linda Weller, September 18, 2014