After getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, the driver is expected to be in the right mind to pay attention to the road and the surrounding area. Traffic laws must be obeyed. Understandably, drunk driving can lead to a car accident that results in serious injury or fatality. In 2012, couple was killed after a young man got behind the wheel of his vehicle after drinking. The Wisconsin man is now paying for his crime.
Reportedly, the 25-year-old had been binge drinking. He went to five different local taverns for alcoholic beverages. He admitted to having numerous beers, shots and mixed drinks during the hours leading up to the fatal car accident. He apparently veered into the lane of the couple’s car and struck them. He was tested two hours subsequent to the crash and still registered a blood alcohol level that was more than two times the legal limit.
He was charged with two counts of homicide by intoxication. He pleaded guilty in September to both charges. The maximum penalty for each count was 15 years in prison. He is required to pay a $5,000 fine and will spend five years in prison. He faces 25 years of probation and community service when he is released from prison.
Unlike some in Wisconsin, this family actually got criminal justice. Aside from criminal charges and convictions, injured victims and families in similar circumstances are entitled to seek financial restitution in civil court if it can be proven that the at-fault driver of a car accident acted negligently in a manner that caused or contributed to an accident. A successfully litigated claim may result in an award of monetary damages that can help injured victims (or the surviving families of deceased victims) pay for medical expenses, burial costs, lost income and more.
Source: Fond du Lac Reporter, Shea sentenced to five years in prison for crash that killed Eden couple, Laurie Ritger, March 15, 2014