Last week, the State Journal-Register posted an article about an Illinois car accident involving a drunk driver who crashed his car, killing his daughter,7, who was a passenger. The driver was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, with a bond of $1 million. The driver drove his car off the road, and landed into a ditch with most of the damage occurring in the front part of the car. Although his daughter was sitting in a child seat and had a seat belt on, she died from the impact of the crash. The Illinois State Police are still investigating, but acknowledge that this was the driver’s second DUI and third offense involving alcohol.
According to MADD.com, endangering a child by driving under the influence of alcohol with them in the car should increase the driver’s punishment, and should be considered as child abuse. Many states do have laws that enhance fines and sentences for drunk drivers found with a child passenger. In Illinois, fines and penalties are worse for a drunk driver who has a passenger under the age of 16-years-old in the car.
The Illinois Statute states that anyone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit and causes an accident that injures a passenger under 16 is guilty of aggravated driving under the influence. The first offense for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a passenger under 16 years of age has an automatic and fixed fine of $1,000. This also results in at least 6 months in jail and several weeks of community service. These laws and regulations are used to protect children passengers who are unable to operate a car or find their own means of transportation.
Our Chicago accident attorneys want our readers to be aware of the dangers associated with driving under the influence. This article highlights the fact that this reckless behavior can not only affect the driver, but their passengers, or other drivers on the road. Injuries to children as a result of DUIs are serious crimes, but are completely preventable. Our Illinois car crash lawyers have successfully handled many cases involving careless drivers, so please contact us to see how we may be able to help you if you were seriously injured in an accident. Taking action can help you receive fair compensation for the harms caused, and also bring awareness to the severity of drunk driving.