As we’ve talked about again and again on this blog, drunk driving doesn’t just hurt individuals, it hurts families and communities. Roughly 28 people die each day because of these accidents, and the estimated annual national cost of alcohol-related car accidents totals over $132 billion a year. This week, the City of Chicago signed off on $16 million in settlements for individuals injured by a drunken city worker in 2011. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving; Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
According to Chicago police reports, the laborer in question was driving a city owned Ford F-150 pickup truck with a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when he jumped a curb and plowed into a crowd of people enjoying a Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Cedar and Rush Street. The accident, which occurred on May 21st 2011, left multiple people seriously injured and nearly claimed the life of a 20-month-old child being carried in a stroller, if not for it being pushed away from the area of the collision at the last second. Upon investigation of the accident, an open bottle of brandy was found in the cab of the man’s pickup truck.
This Monday, the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee signed a settlement that allocated $7.4 million in compensation for a now 26-year-old year old women, who was one of the most seriously injured victims in the incident. The City Council Finance Committee also signed off on various other settlements, including $2.4 million for a client of Levin & Perconti, who suffered several spinal fractures and was hospitalized for 6 days following the accident. The driver of the vehicle pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence, and was sentenced to 9 years in prison. (Chicago Sun-Times)