A Decatur, Illinois man was recently sentenced to eight years in prison after he ran into another car while under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, the man tested positive for THC, the main substance in marijuana, reports The Pentagraph. The man is being sentenced for aggravated drunken driving, and is required to serve at least 85% of his 8-year prison sentence as well as pay 178,000 dollars in damages.
The man pleaded guilty to this specific DUI accident, subsequently incurring the legal consequences, in exchange for the dismissal of 11 other DUI incidences. Clearly, the driver has an established record of likely negligence. Our Chicago car accident attorneys are unsure as to what other penalties this man incurred over the years as a result of his previous DUIs. However, we are confident that the existence of 11 previous incidences is enough evidence to conclude that this man was a potential danger.
Unfortunately, history repeated itself in this accident, and had highly detrimental consequences. In the accident, in which the man pleaded guilty, three people were injured or killed in the other car. The driver of the other car and her 3-year-old passenger were both injured. A backseat passenger, a 31-year-old man from Bloomington, Illinois, was killed in the accident.
This unfortunate incident highlights a couple causes prevalent in most Illinois roadway accidents. Each Illinois car accident lawyer at Levin & Perconti knows all to well, from our experience dealing with many clients, that the following causes can have damaging consequences.
The first of such causes is distracted driving. According to the same Pentagraph article, the man at fault for the accident claims that he was changing his CD at the time of the accident. Generally, distracted driving is a major cause of accidents. Specifically, 66% of the 43,000 fatal car accidents in 2002 were a result of “playing with the radio or CD,” according to NHTSA statistics reported in a Mental Floss magazine article.
The second of such causes is also related to distracted driving, and that is, driving while under the influence. Driving under the influence not only impairs your reaction time and ability to function normally, but also impairs your judgment. This is particularly dangerous when driving, where split second decisions can be the deciding factor in preventing life-threatening accidents.
Education and prevention efforts have made it nearly impossible for any person to claim ignorance of the potential consequences of drunk driving, yet people still continue to do so and we see the consequences in the fatal car accident statistics year after year. Our Chicago car accident lawyers urge compliance with traffic safety laws. We recognize that accidents as such will never completely go away, but they can be significantly reduced.
In the meantime, it is important to know that you and your loved ones do have legal rights when it comes to accidents like the ones in this article. Should you or a loved one be in a similar situation, you can contact our Chicago car accident attorneys to find out what rights may be available.