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Driver pleads guilty after fatality in drunk driving accident

It is widely known that alcohol in the system of a driver can adversely affect his or her ability to react in emergency situations. Even when drivers feel unaffected by one or two drinks and do not seem intoxicated, their reactions are often slowed. An 18-year-old passenger riding in a pickup truck with a driver who was apparently under the influence of alcohol lost his life in a 2014 drunk driving accident on an icy road in Illinois.

The 21-year-old driver recently pleaded guilty to DUI charges and resisting arrest. According to court documents, two state troopers who were stopped on the side of a White County road reportedly noticed no erratic driving when the pickup truck went past them moments prior to the accident. Three passengers who were in the vehicle said they hit an icy patch on the road. The driver was apparently unable to maintain control, and the truck went off the road and rolled over.

These three passengers suffered minor injuries, but a fourth passenger lost his life. Upon testing the driver's blood alcohol level about two hours after the incident, it measured at .065 percent. After reaching a plea agreement, the pickup truck driver received a six-month jail sentence, along with three years of probation. He will be confined to his home for a year, and he has to undergo alcohol treatment and perform community service. Furthermore, he will only be allowed to submit a driver's license application after two years have passed.

When Illinois residents lose loved ones who were passengers in vehicles that were involved in a drunk driving accident, they will have to face the unanticipated expenses of funerals and burials. This is not an expense that is typically included in anyone's budget, thus the need for compensation is often great. With sufficient documented evidence of negligence on the part of the driver, a wrongful death claim may be filed in a civil court. While no amount of money can be put on the life of a loved one, a monetary award may provide financial relief that will assist a family in the aftermath of an accident.

Source: courierpress.com, "Ill. man sentenced to jail, probation after deadly DUI crash", Len Wells, April 28, 2015

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